A introduction of your self
I'm Gina aka Natural Belle, I'm a mother, PR consultant, blogger and occasional columnist
originally from South London but now living the country life in leafy Berkshire with my partner and daughter.
Tell us about your hair journey
I've been natural since 2007, but worn my hair in it's natural state more often then relaxed but officially my last dalliance with the 'creamy crack' was 2007. My decision was purely based on aesthetics, I think curly hair looks better on me than when it's polka straight. I've always been quite experimental with my hair whether it comes to the cut or the colour. I'm currently wearing my hair in a short Mohawk style.
co.uk/ come about
I started Natural Belle as a place to keep myself inspired, hence my url hairspiration. 5 years ago there was just a handful of blogs and no magazines featured predominately natural hair styles and styling tips. So to keep me from going back to relaxed I keep a blog as place to keep images I'd found (remember this was before pinterest and tumblr!) that turned into me blogging about my own hair journey and it snowballed after that.
How did you elevate your blog to get to the place where you are today?
Consistency was the key to my blog, I blogged constantly, and tried to not do things that other bloggers were not doing. I also had a helping hand in the early days being featured on blogs like BGLH and The fashion bomb helped to further my reach, social media is great for networking and getting to know other bloggers. nothing happened over night I blogged to about 150 followers for 2 years. But I blogged with the same passion that I have today.
What is your hairspiration?
My hairspiration is the goal of healthy hair, I don't aspire to any great lengths, though I appreciate beautiful long curly hair I don't suffer from hair envy at all.
How did it feel being contacted by major press companies?
It's always flattering being asked to do thing for magazines and press, It's great that bloggers views and opinions are being listened to by mainstream media. but it's just as cool being asked to do interviews for blogs
What is the biggest achievement to date in terms of your blog
There have been a few things, like hitting my first 1000 followers! I really couldn't believe it it felt great that that many people read and liked my blog enough to actually follow it! also getting the opportunity to write for Pride and Arise Online as I had read these publications for a long time and it was great to be apart of that. Also being tweeted by Solange Knowles and her saying she liked my blog!
What advice do you have for anyone starting out in the blogging world
It's cliché but blog for yourself, it's so obvious but some people get caught up in the stats and figures that they forget that a blog is a way to get out your creativity whether that be for art, fashion, photography or writing. Don't worry about followers they will come even if it takes a while.
What do you think of the UK natural Hair scene?
I think it's great, compared to the US it is in it's infancy but people are really starting to take notice, the events are growing year on year, as are the availability and variation of products on offer. It's fun to be apart of it and see lots of different bloggers coming through with fresh eyes. I feel old!
How do you feel about being an inspiration to others?
It's great to inspire people, I'm glad if I help people in anyway it's weird because I'm just being me.
How is your beautiful baby girl and how important is it to teach our daughters how beautiful the hair is.
she is fab and keeps me very busy! I hope she will appreciate her curls, she has a totally different hair texture to me but it will be great for us to learn about it together.
How can our readers find you and get in contact with you?