Jamaica Plain resident and entrepreneur Jamie Cholaki has been in the hair styling business for more than a decade and a half and recently launched a hair product that uses the amethyst gemstone. She is using a crowdfunding platform that is geared towards promoting women entrepreneurs to help raise money for the venture. The Gazette recently conducted a question-and-answer session through email to discuss the venture with Cholaki. The session has been edited. (For more information about her venture, visit bit.ly/2C12up7.)
Q.: How did you find out about the crowdfunding platform I Fund Women?
A.: One of my friends sent me the link and told me I should apply because it’s specifically for women entrepreneurs.
Q.: What is I Fund Women’s mission and what are your thoughts on it?
A: It’s a crowdfunding platform specifically created to help women entrepreneurs get the funding they need when their business or idea is in start up mode. It’s a great opportunity and so grateful to be a part of the Boston Launch that Mayor Marty Walsh is supporting. Being a small business owner, it has been amazing to receive so much encouragement and support from so many people excited for me and them wanting and helping me succeed in reaching my goals.
Q.: You have a new venture called amethyst hair serum. What is that and where did the idea come from?
A.: It’s a hair product that is infused with the essence of amethyst gemstone. Sixteen years-plus years of experience as a hairstylist the biggest frustration my clients share they have is that their hair is frizzy and gets static. I wanted to find a solution that helped with ingredients more naturally sourced (It’s vegan and gluten free). I’ve always been drawn to crystals and have a beautiful amethyst crystal on my workstation at the salon. One day, it just hit me. What if I were to put amethyst crystal in a hair product. The more I started researching amethyst the more I realized I was onto something. Amethyst can handle high temperatures of heat, which makes it a natural added heat protectant against blow drying. It also will give the hair crystal shine while helping to minimize frizz. There’s also a metaphysical component with amethyst because many people wear or carry amethyst because they believe it is healing and represents purity, serenity, peace, love, hope, and prosperity.
Q.: What are your goals for the venture?
A.: My goals for this venture are to bridge beauty and mindfulness together into women’s daily beauty routines. This is more than just a hair product. My research showed that most women wash their hair in the a.m. and spend less than five minutes styling. Women also tend to do a lot of negative self-talk and I want to change that. Today, with all that’s going on in the world it’s just a call to action for us to be kinder and gentler to one another, and that also includes ourselves. I want to help women feel beautiful both inside and outside. Each bottle is accompanied with an amethyst affirmation setting a positive intention for the busy day ahead and helping women feel empowered.
Q.: How did you get into the hair styling business?
A.: It was by chance. I really struggled in college because of my learning disability dyslexia. One day, I was chatting with a friend and they suggested I became a hair stylist. After I did some exploring, I left college and went to cosmetology school. I was hooked. I love how it was the combination for the artsy creative type with some science and chemistry behind it. I’ve been so fortunate to work in San Diego, Nantucket Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and making Boston my home for the last seven years.
Q.: Anything else you would like to add?
A.: Since launching the campaign on Dec.12 already raised over $3,400 towards the goal of $12,000.