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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Naturalicious.net Giveaway and Interview with owner, Gwen!

As I mentioned in the video, I had a great opportunity to try a product from Naturalicious.net. Although my experience with the product wasn't pleasant, my experience ordering from the site and working with the site's creator, Gwen was amazing! If you would like to enter the giveaway, find the details below the interview!


Please tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? Do you have another occupation besides your businesses?

I'm a married mother of a little boy who just turned one year old earlier this month. I hail from Cleveland, OH, but now live in metro-Detroit. I love it here! By day, I am an advertising executive. Im a foodie, a traveler and I love all things creative, artistic, and positive.

How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was in April 2010 - right before I found out I was pregnant. My son is the reason I went natural. Women are advised to stay relaxer-free while pregnant; and I actually didn't plan to keep it going after he was born. But my hair was sooo much healthier, prettier and fuller that I decided this was a road worth traveling. I love my hair! Best decision ever!
What was your reasoning for starting the boutique?
People would always say, "Your hair is gorgeous, what products do you use?" Or, "I wish I had hair like yours". I would always make sure to tell them that good ingredients are key to healthy hair. I am ALL about using products that allow your hair to thrive and flourish. Bad ingredients (i.e. sulfates, glycols, cones, mineral oils, some alcohols, etc.) will stagnate growth and the overall health of natural hair.

I was literally on the phone with my best girlfriend one day talking about this topic when I said, "It was be great if there was one central location where naturals could purchase products and be confident in knowing each and every product was one that had the best ingredients for their hair. And what if they could ask styling or product-specific questions and get an informed response?" That was my ah-ha moment. I immediately went home and starting writing down my vision and started working toward opening my store. As I began researching product lines and brands, I also began to think about the different needs women with natural hair have, outside of just products to use in their hair. This is why Naturalicious also sells the best quality 100% satin pillow cases, along with natural hair-inspired earrings. We naturals LOVE to accessorize with our earrings! Whenever I consider carrying a certain product or accessory line, I always think if it's something I would use and if it's best for my hair. If it's not something I'd use personally in my hair because of inferior ingredients, it doesn't end up on the Naturalicious.net site.

I love that people can search for products by their hair type, by their favorite brand and even by the type of product they're interested in. I always encourage naturals to email me at naturalicioushair@gmail.com. We answer all natural hair-related questions from first person experience - you don't even have to be a customer. If you want to know which products we carry that would give you the best twist out, we've got answer for you. If you're interested in finding out which products are best for transitioners, we've got you on that too.

I love you that you encourage women to ask questions via email about products related to specific hairstyles before they make their purchase. I don’t know of any other online store/bouqtique that offers that! Do you have any other services that sets you apart from other online stores that sells natural hair related products and merchandise?



Thanks! Yes, we do have a few other services that we offer.

We ship every order out the very next day after the order is placed.  It doesn't matter if we have 20 orders to ship or 1 order. No one likes waiting forever for their package to arrive and we are very conscientious of that. We also include free order tracking with every order. A lot of online retailers charge extra for this service, but we include it as a complimentary service to our customers.



Also, we include free samples with every order. Buying natural products is often a trial and error process of discovering what works best for our various unique textures. Who doesn't love getting samples to try out? So we make sure every order include a couple that our customers can give a test run to see how they like them.



How did you go about choosing what brands you sold on the site? I know you mentioned ingredients, but were there any other factors?

All-in-all I make sure the brand generally adheres to the integrity of what natural hair needs. There are a lot of "drug store brands" that have labels that read "All Natural"...then you turn it around and read the ingredients only to find a bunch of stuff you can't pronounce. That's not natural at all. Being a marketing exec by day, I am aware of how a good marketing campaign influences consumers to purchase things they are being told are good for them, when the product is anything but good. "100% All Natural" is one of the terms marketers use. Natural hair is becoming a very large market for companies to tap into and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Now, whether they are being completely truthful with their claims is another story. You won't find any brands that make such false claims on Naturalicious.net. We are all about advancing the natural hair movement and providing our customers with the knowledge needed to make the best decisions for their hair, which is another reason we encourage people to email us with questions.
What is your favorite brand on your site? 
My favorite brand has to be Aubrey Organics. I discovered it on a whim and used it for most of the duration of my transition (13 months total). Even now, after my BC, I still use it religiously. The ingredients are superb and they make a line for every hair type. I even use it on my 12-month-old's hair. He's also natural, you know. :) Personally, I use the White Camellia Ultra Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner. Once a week, I sit in the steam room at my gym and deep condition with their GPB Protein Balancing Conditioner after my workout. Aubrey Organics also makes a line for swimmers, which is fabulous and completely gets the chlorine out of the hair with no harsh chemical ingredients. My son has been swimming since he was 3 months old and I use the Swimmer's Shampoo and Conditioner on his hair every week. He has a head full of gorgeous, natural curls.
What advice would you give to a newly natural when choosing a product for their hair?
There are a few things I'd advise.

1. Email us at naturalicioushair@gmail.com for advice. No question is off limits. We'll be happy to help!

2. Review the ingredients in the product and Google them to be sure they are safe and healthy for your hair. Remember the first few ingredients are what is mostly in the product, so stay away from sulfates, mineral oils, gylcols, anything that ends in 'cone' (i.e. dimenticone), SD alcohol, etc. Over time, you will begin to know which ingredients are great and which ones are terrible. It will become second nature, almost.

3. Check out YouTube for reviews. YouTube is absolutely fabulous for getting first hand accounts from naturals just like you. Just type in the product name plus 'review' and see what others are saying about it. (But make sure the person review has a similar-looking texture to yours. All products don't work the same on every hair texture.)

GIVEAWAY
The winner of this giveaway will win one product of their choice from Naturalicious.net and also receive free shipping. To enter, you must be subscribed to my website, like Naturalicious.net on Facebook and also leave a comment below stating what you like about Naturalicious.net's site. Please also leave your email address as well. This giveaway will be open for one week and close on Sunday, 11:59 EST.
Thanks so much Gwen for sponsoring this giveaway. Good luck to everyone who enters!

63 comments:

  1. The site is very sleek and it carries products by different brands that I currently use.

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    1. Oops, forgot my email: kag52@ymail.com

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  2. very easy to get around i get lost on other sites then i leave but im going back to ur lol email shonniebpd@gmail.com

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  3. The website interface is very easy to use, not pretentious or over the top. I also like their social media presence. Their facebook page promotes education and empowerment. Last but not least, I feel like its an actual person running the company, and not some faceless robot. All in all Naturaliicious.net is what people should look for in a boutique. Awesome product variety, very good social media presence, and educational uplifting marketing.

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    1. My email address is deniecegt@gmail.com

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  4. The site is easy to navigate and easy on the eyes. Don't have to make a million clicks to get to what you are looking for.

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  5. The site is clean cut and very inviting, your able to look at what the site has to offer and not be flooded with many other ploys to make you feel you have to purchase I would recommend this site to others

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  6. I love that the site has international shipping. I am a newly natural living in Ukraine, so I have to buy most of the hair products I need online. It's really nice to find a website with a variety of natural hair products that ships internationally.

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  7. the best thing about the website is the easy nevigating. i espically like how all the products in the brands are together, lord knows who tedious it could be trying to find a specific item when are in a hurry :)

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  8. This website is modern , clean , and easy to get around. I love the fact that there are different products being advertised. I am new to the naturalicious world and will love to use these amazing hair products.

    godschild_pretty_girl@hotmail.com

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  9. I like that you can actually consult with her about products. So many times, I want to try products but don't want to waste my money if they don't work for me. This really helps to curb that step.

    mythriftedcloset@gmail.com

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  10. I like that as a consumer you have the ability to find out more about the products before trying them out. The ability to ask the owner questions is tops with me! aedavis687@sbcglobal.net

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  11. I love that you can search by hair type! Also many sites don't list the indgredients so you have to go to other sites to find out what's in it....or....they do list them and you find out it's not really "natural". This site does all the legwork for you. LOVE THIS SITE!! Thank you for sharing CharyJay. You rock as usual! tameka.robinson1981@gmail.com

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  12. i love,that it is so easy to handle...
    but the shipping is high as hell :/

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  13. I like that you can get advice on what products will work for you by email and that there aren't a million products on the site!
    newnatural30@gmail.com

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  14. I like that you can search by curl type! Makes it easy to get to the products that will work best for me. HOWEVER, like another commenter said, the shipping prices are high. For that reason, this site would probably be a last alternative for me. I would only use it if I couldn't get the same products elsewhere. :-(

    mchicks99@hotmail.com

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  15. I am in love w/the fact that you can get questions answered regarding hair or products!! I am 13mths post and need all the help I can get in both areas.

    athall98@yahoo.com

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  16. I like that the website categorizes hair products based on hair type. Its a helpful guide for those new to the natural hair.

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  17. I love natualicious website because it so simple to find what you what. It helps you find products for your natural hair with so much ease. All the products are placed in different categories such as hair type which is seldom found on hair sites. I will definitely be shopping here and I love the the coupons on the first page.

    My email address is de_sweetessthyng@hotmail.com

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  18. The website is well organized and clean--easy to read, easy to follow. I can find hair products of interest based on product type, hair type and brand name. I'm especially impressed by the disclosure of ingredients for each product so that you know the quality of the products.

    rashistan@gmail.com

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  19. I love how you can search products by hair type. The site was very easy to navigate around. Loved it!!!!! bigwdy27@gmail.com

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  20. I like the easy way to navigate around the site, the tab where you can pick what type your hair may be and the suggestions that are made. And I like that the products are 100% natural that you sale ans advertise. And you have a place where we naturals can ask you questions about natural hair and will answer back.

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  21. Love the site! Ready to start shopping
    birttanydv07@yahoo.com

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  22. I love the interface and the product selection of the website and I absolutely LOVE the fact that you selected someone (Charl-Jay) who has both beautiful hair and is sincere in her review of the product. Too often many naturals, especially the more popular one's on Youtube have begun to sell out by reviewing and liking EVERYTHING that comes their way, this is the easiest way to lose credibility in my book. I plan to purchase this product from your website primarily because I like the down home feel of your marketing campaign, you seem to be connecting the rubber with the road which is extremely important to me. I also like the fact that this is a Black owned company who truly understands the special needs of my type of hair. THANK YOU! I wish you many blessings and will pray for your continued success.

    uncommon35@gmail.com

    Very Respectfully,

    Tracy R. Scott aka: sugar bush naturals

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  23. I like the fact that the website is easy to understand and broken down in sections. I don't have to search all over the place to find what I want. Thank you for an opportunity to enter into the giveaway.

    gwenn4ya@yahoo.com

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  24. gotta love a site with a satin pillow case for order. I am that natural woman who hates wrapping my big hair up at night. I feel like a look crazy and by the time I wake up, scarves, bonnets and whatever else I try is somewhere under the covers.

    Natural sisters everywhere should write, blog and vlog about the value of the satin pillow case:) because it's under appreciated:)

    melisarsmith1@hotmail.com

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  25. Hello! Being a new natural that I am can be very overwhelming sometimes when it comes to products and the site make it very easy to find and compare different products. I like the convenience of the site, I don't have to go to a million different sites to find good products, this site does it for me. Also I like the breakdown of the products for different hair types. Thanks. (indiafreeman46@gmail.com.com)

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  26. The naturalicious site is clean and simple to navigate.
    My email is brownshuga24@yahoo.com

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  27. I like how easy the site is to navigate!

    FrugallyMe at hotmail dot com

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  28. I Like the variety they offer, especially the Curly Chick earrings. Thanks for the great giveaway (itsmeibfree@yahoo.com)

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  29. I love that this is a place that I can trust that the products are all natural. There are a lot of products out there and all the research has already been done for me just by stopping here. Also, I love the earrings!! I love this site and I can't wait to see more brands. Good luck with the site and thanks for this giveaway. (mom2kurlyt@yahoo.com)

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  30. I like the fact that the site breaks it down to hair type so you know the products are for your specific hair.

    mpayne0922@gmail.com

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  31. HI Im Toni. I love that the webiste mention how much is in stock and in your cart. The products are very easily to find and grouped together. This store is very convenient and easy to use.

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  33. Easy to navigate. Looking forward to what I find. cookiemonster_78741@yahoo.com

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  34. I like the fact you can shop by hair type.
    Shibaby99@yahoo.com

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  35. shaundaj77@gmail.com I like that I can go to my curl type and get a list of products of that work well for my hair type.

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  36. I love that Naturalicious.net goes the next step in natural hair. Not only does the site have various hair care products but the site also has earrings and pillow cases. It really helps me make a complete look as a natural sister!!! My e-mail address is lsbelcher@gmail.com

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  37. I love how easy it is to navigate around the site and how there are recommend products for specific hair types. msmle2009@gmail.com

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  38. I have curly, coily and color-treated hair so I love the fact that this site offers so many great product suggestions for all types of hair.

    My email address is: kzeaky1@hotmail.com

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  39. I really like this site because as a mommy to be and massage therapist, I can truly appreciate the quality of the brands that are being offered on your site. This is a critical time for me and my unborn child and hair care is included in that as well. I also appreciate the fact that, you take the time to respond to your consumers and answer their natural hair questions.
    I can be reached at servicedrivenmassage@yahoo.com

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  40. I love that this site caters to naturals. Being a newbie, I appreciate the fact that I can get answers before I purchase. Thanks Chary Jay :}

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    1. My email address is lonagirl35@gmail.com

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  41. Where else can you ask for what product work best w/ the style you want?!?!?!?1 Serious who does that!!!! This is awesome!!!
    Emailaddress: la_tiya@hotmail.com

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  42. I love the clean crisp design of the site. Being able to ask product questions is a huge bonus! Email: thehodgepodgefiles@gmail.com

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  43. I agree with every one else that the site is clean and easy to navigate. I like the colors, even though it's a basic purple an white, it's quite inviting.

    kinkycurlyliebe@gmail.com

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  44. What I like about Naturalicious.net's site is that it is so simple to find what you are looking for and not cluttered like many other sites. Email: kekepetties@yahoo.com

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  45. i like how u can search for products by hair type

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  46. i LOVE that you can search for products by hair type. i also like how the site is easy to navigate.

    my email address is lamosi2@aol.com

    thanks!

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  47. well, being in the advertising and pr world myself, the site it clean, it's fresh, and it gives the customer varying ways to search for products. I do like that you can search by hair texture and also match the products that are suitable for your hair type. Also one thing that's cool is the fact that you don't have to be a customer to ask a question about the products. That's a great added touch.

    kerishavanterpool@gmail.com

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  48. I love how organized the site is. Not confusing at all! I will be begging my madre to order from there. Lol the downside to being a "teen natural".

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  49. First off i love how it classifies products by the different hair strand patterns without using the whole Andre Walker hair typing system. It actually treats hair as hair with different characteristics, without making any seem more superior to the other. I love it! Secondly, i love that it gives some info on the products and how you can use them.


    karenfiannaan@yahoo.com

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  50. Hi, what i love about Naturalicious.net is the fact that they take the guess work out of purchasing the right product for your hair, i love the fact that weather im a customer or not i could email a question about products and what would work best for my hair or any question i may have, i love that u get same day shipping without extra charge and i love that the founder of this site uses these products for her and her child.

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    1. im sorry i forgot to add my email my email is DONSHAECALHOUN@AOL.COM

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  51. I like that the website is very simple, noncluttered so you don't feel overwhelmed. I really like the company logo. Great design! The links allow for easy navigation too. Overall it's very inviting! :0)

    cocoapuff411@yahoo.com

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  52. Hey Chary-Jay and Gwen,

    Naturalicious.net is great site. You can get products if you know your hair type and if you don't you can search by brands. If you don't know either you can contact by email and get an answer to what products to use by the style your looking to do or hair type. That's GREAT! Where was this site when I was going natural?!!!! LOL. Its simple, easy and HELPFUL! Thanks Gwen. ♡
    Email addy: alltasty1883@aol.com FB name: Kema Everella Hunte

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  54. I love that naturalicious.net divides the products by hair types!!! That helps a lot when attempting to decide what product will work best for your hair!! sdbennett86@yahoo.com

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  55. I've been natural for 15 years and I've always preferred wearing my hair short because it was easier to manage. About 8 months ago I decided that I was going to see just how long my hair would grow and for the first time I'm really loving my curls thanks to all of the wonderful products on the market today. I have become a YouTube junkie and thanks to people like CharJay I've learned a number of different techniques for styling my hair. I love experimenting with new products and, although I have tried some of the Aubrey products that I purchased from our local health food store, I'm excited about being able to try some of the others offered on your site. Naturalicious.net is very easy to navigate and lists it's products by hair type which further simplifies the shopping experience. There's nothing worse than visiting a site where you feel like you're peeling back the rings of an onion just to find what you are looking for. Thanks for keeping it simple. eMail: stephanie.glover@yale.edu

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  56. I'm loving the website naturalicious.net! what a great site for a newly transitioner like myself! I have been researching and trying to find a lot of products that so many people use in their videos on youtube. I just love how Gwen has the products best for each hair type, this will definitely help in my search for what works for my kinky curls that are slowly but surly popping out!(I just love them, I'm too excited about those little curls!) Big ups to Gwen for seeing her vision and making it happen! Chary Jay this site gives me inspiration to following my passions every time I visit it! keep up the great work!
    Blessings, Keedy
    keedyislovinglife@yahoo.com

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  57. Naturalicious.net is clean, informative, and simple to navigate around. I love that there is a diverse group of products provided on the site. You can pick products by your specific hair type. The products are affordable and there is an ingredient list and overall explanantion of each product. A lot of sites do not tell you much about the products they are trying to sell, so that is something that I am constantly looking for in a hair product site. As a whole naturalicious.net is a site I can see myself using for some time, and I would recommend this site not only to my friends who are natural, but also those who are not. I belive any one can find good use in the services naturalicious.net has to offer!
    The happy natural,
    Regine (calisartangel16@yahoo.com)

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  58. naturalicious.net is thee best hair site ever!!! even better than the other "well established" hair care lines. its easy to navigate through, bright, colorful, informative, and has an AWESOME selection of hair care. i adore it and im telling all my NAT - U - RAL friends about this site! :) thank you we def needed a site such as this one.

    email: yerstarstruck@gmail.com

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