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Hidden Gems: Meet Tina Kelly Matthews

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tina Kelly Matthews.

Hi Tina, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
When I was a little girl, kids made fun of me for my wild, crazy curls and all the hair products I had to use to tame them. My white friends would come to my house, see my hair gels and oils, and laugh at them because of the “weird” names and packaging. All I saw around me was straight hair and white skin. And that’s what I wanted. At the time, I didn’t realize how beautiful my hair was, and how lucky I was to have it. There was so much trauma that came with wearing my natural hair. I was the only black person in my grade senior year of high school. The white kids found it funny to throw things in my hair, touching it and grabbing it all the time. I acted like it didn’t bother me, but I always felt different. All I wanted was to be treated like everyone else, not like a circus sideshow.

And now, most importantly, I don’t want other little black girls to go through what I went through. I want them to embrace their differences and to be proud of them. I want them to be confident showing off their hair products and kinky curls. Before I started my line, I was in a store looking for new hair products. I went to the aisle marked “Beauty” and saw absolutely nothing for my hair. I went to one of the employees to ask where I could find some products that were right for my hair, and she pointed me to an aisle in the back of the store. I found a few products that would work for me, but the experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I hated the fact that I had to walk right past the beauty section into an aisle that only had a few products for me, and the rest of the products were mens’. A few years later, after people complained, the store added ethnic hair products to the beauty section. But I never forgot my experience. Ever since then, I’ve had a dream of helping black women and men to know the worth of their curls, coils, and locks. To no longer feeling ‘othered,’ and to flex their beautiful blackness! In terms of my own personal hair care journey, I’ve experienced really positive times with my hair – as well as many negative. I went from straightening my hair every day to try to fit in, to bleaching the entire thing, to cutting most off, and now, finally, to luscious, fully moisturized curls.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had to search and dig for products that were right for my hair. It should not be hard to find good hair products! I have met too many black women trying to find what’s right for their hair when the answer is so simple. All of the extra, unnecessary chemicals and fragrances used in our hair products are what strips our hair from its natural vitamins and oils, causing it to look dry and lifeless. Over time, I realized that the best hair products are those made with safe and natural ingredients. It wasn’t until I started making my own hair products that I noticed a change in my curl pattern and the length of my hair. The Caliya line by TinaKelly specializes in creating hair products that will make you feel confident you’re taking care of your precious tresses. There are no damaging effects that will harm your hair.

The products are extremely moisturizing and a little goes a long way. We use frosted glass jars to keep the products at the perfect temperatures so their consistency remains creamy. The Caliya line has some amazing products eagerly waiting to be released. On our website,, you will be able to find hair products and accessories, such as 100% mulberry bonnets and satin durags. The bonnets and durags help to keep your hair protected while sleeping and would look fresh to wear while running errands, too! Men should be able to feel boujee too! (wave kits come with a 100% boar bristle wooden brush, a carefully stitched durag, and wave cream to keep your hair healthy and wavy!) This company takes pride in making people with curls, kinks, and coils feel beautiful with their hair types. There are also many body products and accessories for ALL people to enjoy. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Starting a new business is never easy or smooth. On top of being a full-time S.T.E.M. student, intern, and dog mom, I had to work another job to save up money to launch my business. On top of that, I was nervous that people wouldn’t take me seriously as a black woman-owned business. A lot of people tried to bring me down along the way. It was really hard at times, but I have a great support system that helps me stay focused and motivated.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Caliya line specializes in body butters and hair products. I also offer body wellness and mental wellness products through the Hygiea line. I specialize in providing top-tier customer service that includes ensuring my customers always receive what they want and are happy with what they get. All of my products come with a ton of information, both on the bottles themselves as well as on my website. I want my customers to have a great experience when placing orders, so my website offers ease of navigation and a straightforward checkout process. Most definitely, one of the best parts of my products is the packaging. It’s also one of my favorite steps of the process. When opening my custom-made TinaKelly boxes, overflowing with tinsel and pretty wrapping paper, be sure to look out for a cute thank you note from me and maybe even an extra little gift!

Another aspect of my business that people love and that I’m proud of is my interaction with my customers. I love doing free product challenges with my followers. For example, I recently posted a hair growth challenge on Instagram, where I ask my followers to share pictures of their hair growth before and after using one of my best-selling products, my Extreme Hair Growth Scalp Serum. And there have been some really amazing results! I want my customers to know that their hair is so important, and it’s important to invest in it. My products are made with so much love and care, and I really want customers to be able to feel that. At TinaKelly, we are here to help you start your natural and holistic self-care journey. Give your body a break and choose the natural alternative with a company that really cares. Follow us on Instagram to support us along the way, so we can keep providing excellent products and services. And the biggest bonus: shipping is always free for all products, what you see is what you get!

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What to check out next:
Aleasha Bahr is a sales & marketing strategist known for showing introverts and ambiverts the Secret Art of Subtle Selling.  She personally sold millions in revenue while discovering introverts are usually top sales people – as soon as they stop trying to act like extroverts.  We’ve partnered with her to produce Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories. Check out episode 1 below:

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