Get a little inside scoop on how we've managed to stay in the game! See what The Vancouver Courier, a local weekly, wrote about the growing Knotty Boy Company.
By Brenda Jones
Dreadlocks aren't a popular fashion statement in Vancouver, but thanks to the worldwide web that hasn't hindered a small business on Commercial Drive that specializes in manufacturing and selling a full range of hair products for dreadlocks.
In fact, Knotty Boy Dread Stuff has grown into the top supplier of all-natural dreadlock hair care products in the world. Last year alone, the company's sales surpassed $500,000, with over half of that sold through its web site.
Not bad, considering the idea of creating these products was literally cooked up, only five years earlier, by a pair of young people in a small kitchen, where a lot of experimenting and testing of different formulas took place.
"The company has done well by staying focused," said Knotty Boy spokesperson, Sarah Moyer, noting that the company has stayed true to offering all-natural products that help to create, maintain or remove dreadlocks.
Moyer recently got extensions so she too could experience dreadlocks. "I really love them," she said. "It's a sensible, cool hairstyle for people who have very dry or very coarse hair. People come up to me and want to touch my hair. It's appealing because it's a unique hairstyle."
Knotty Boy devotes a sections of its website to debunking myths about dreads. These include that dreadlocks are dirty and cannot be washed. One of the company's first products was a shampoo bar featuring natural ingredients that help dreads stay tight by stripping out dirt and oils. Its first product was Dread Wax for creating well-groomed dreads.
All of Knotty Boy's products include hemp seed oil which is nutrient rich and good for the hair and scalp. Knotty Boy recently launched a few new products. In the fall it released a Peppermint Cooling Moisture Spray, which cools the scalp and cures itchiness, and LockSteady Tightening Gel, which contains aloe vera and helps tighten up dreads so they don't get loose or frizzy.
Its newest product is the Knotty Boy Emergency Dreadlock Removal Kit, which includes specially formulated shampoo and deep-conditioner that first breaks down the waxy hair products, which are water resistant, then works to soften the hair and loosen the dreads so the customer can pick them out.
It was developed after the company received several calls from people panicking that they needed to remove their dreads for a new job or because their parents were upset about them, and they didn't want to cut the dreaded hair off.
"We used to tell them to scrub and scrub and soak and soak, but this new product has an ingredient derived from citrus which naturally helps to dissolve the wax," Moyer said. "The conditioner is made of the very best ingredients. Dreaded hair is damaged hair, so the conditioner helps to seal back down the cuticle and loosen the knot."
With success comes growth, as Knotty Boy, which first started on Saltspring Island, already knows. Knotty Boy outgrew its office at Commerical and 12th and recently moved to a character house on Grant Street (where Abraham's Books used to be). The new location features a shop and salon specializing in dreads and extensions.
Stylist Jervais Dionne, who has had clients drive from as far away as Colorado and Alaska to have her do their hair, will operate out of the salon.
"We're looking forward to having a greater street presence and getting involved with the community," Moyer said.
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