Hey guys, I am Latoya but most of you in the canna-world know me as Fro Lady. In the spirit of Black History Month, I wanted to open up and introduce myself, give you a little bit of who I am and what I’m about.
When I started “Fro Lady,” I wanted it to be a representation of attainable success in the cannabis industry for women and people of color. I used the fro as a way to be unapologetically myself and overcame the fear of the stigma. In America, during the history of slavery, most African-Americans styled their hair in an attempt to mimic the predominantly white society, as fro-textured hair (characterized by tight kinks described as being “kinky,” “coily,” “coarse,” “nappy,” or “wooly”) was seen as the antithesis of European-American standards of beauty.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a redefinition and appreciation of black beauty embodied by the “Black is Beautiful” movement, which consisted of more natural, untreated hairstyles. We see this movement take shape once again in the 2010s, with the growing popularity of natural and protective hairstyles. There’s also been a movement to normalize black hairstyles within schools and the workplace, and I took to that idea when I formulated the persona of Fro Lady. People of color have always had to adjust in this world and the afro was a way of staying natural and embracing your true essence.
As a person of color I represent that skin color is simply science. A science that not even the best lightening creams will change. Our features come down to ancestry and geography, and we are just as capable as anyone else with the same internal organs.
I gained a lot of inspirational connections and met a lot of great people of all races. There are clear minorities within the cannabis industry that need recognition and, with unity, we would be a force to reckon with.
That’s what led me to start Fro20, which at first was an act of activism for cannabis and eventually became an umbrella idea off Fro Lady. I wanted to separate and distinguish the Fro Lady image from the Fro20 Shop to expand my target audience and my message. I was determined to showcase my luxury, clean and feminine weed accessories brand. The vision for the brand is to cater to all women. To empower women into knowing that they can go after their goals and desires and be noticed within the cannabis industry.
It was important for me to stay away from the standard marijuana designs and image, to avoid the constant demonizing of weed and how non-white people are criminalized in association with it (even if it’s for comedy shows). We rarely see the idea of the apathetic stoner amongst Caucasians unless depicted specifically (e.g. the skater or the “trailer trash”) and it’s often used as propaganda for suburban youth to not partake.
My goal is to ultimately put out a product that women can feel classy and safe about in terms of perception. Many of us are moms, full-time employees, caregivers, teachers, doctors, and the roles are often blended, so I came up with a design that encouraged self-care, beauty, and relaxation.
Black History, for me, is just history; part of everything that has helped to shape and build North America. Youth should be educated in their cultural past and be made to feel proud of every endeavour, every achievement, and accolade. Black history needs to be normalized and integrated as part of children’s education. It needs to be taught more within the homes of all children. Storytelling of yesteryear needs to become a normal part of the culture again so our people can begin to gain a sense of who they truly are and where they came from so that they know where they are going. We should be inspired by hearing these stories all year-round to create a better tomorrow for all of us and know that our contribution to society matters. Every month, every day, every moment of every year.
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