When Mariska Gittens-McEwan gave birth to her daughter several years ago, she wanted the best for her; this included a hair product that would nourish her daughter’s hair without irritating her scalp.
It was this desire that led to what has now become Kishy’s Curly Cocktails, a homemade hair oil made, of course, by Mariska herself.
Gittens-McEwan, who during an interview with Stabroek News described herself as a passion-driven, creative and ambitious woman who is also a mother, wife and so much more, said the product came to life with the birth of her now five-year-old daughter.
“Five years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I was very protective of her, so I was skeptical about using products on the market due to children having very tender scalps at that age. So I started to research all-natural ingredients which would promote healthy hair. I played around and began to mix and formulate until I got the perfect mixture. Since then, I never stopped using it on her hair and on myself in 2015 when I did my big chop, returning my hair to its natural curly texture,” she said.
“My mission at the outset was being able to provide a product that really helps and give[s] real results, while at the same time doing something I love every day,” Gittens-McEwan added.
Stabroek News understands that the hair oil, which caters for all hair types, consists of all-natural oils, “uniquely blended,” to target and nourish different parts of the hair. “It is different because it has no other additives in it, it is homemade, 100% all-natural, affordable for all. Also, no colouring, which may be harmful to the hair and scalp,” Gittens-McEwan shared.
Commenting on the choice of name, the budding entrepreneur explained that it was derived from her nickname.
“My nickname is Kishy, I am a curly hair girl and ‘Cocktails’, which means a mixture of more than one substance. So I fell in love with the combination of names and decided to make it mine,” she shared.
In terms of marketing, Gittens-McEwan said she usually uses social media to promote and sell her product. Additionally, she would have participated in this year’s staging of Curl Fete, one of the biggest hair events in Guyana, an opportunity that allowed her to promote the hair oil to a wider range of people.
Meanwhile, her average investment in her product from June until now, so far ranges from $200,000 – $300,000.
However, her work has not gone without the experience of challenges, the biggest of which has been overcoming her shyness to promote her business.
“My biggest challenge was taking that leap and making the product public. Due to my shyness I was a bit scared and I kept second guessing myself. I did overcome it due to my passion for it and my love for hair, also I wanted to help persons with their hair journey,” Gittens-McEwan told Stabroek News.
Commenting on the public’s response to Kishy’s Curly Cocktails, the woman said, “I have gotten nothing but great reviews so far from my consumers.”
Looking to the future, Gittens-McEwan expressed confidence in her business’ capability to keep its customers happy and satisfied while at the same time being successful in the process.
She also envisions that in the next five to ten years, she will have a full product line under the brand “Kishy’s all natural hair and skin care products.”
When asked if she had any advice for someone just starting their own business, Gittens-McEwan said, “Always follow your dream or passion and believe in yourself.”
At present, the hair oil, Kishy’s Curly Cocktails, can be found at McEwan’s Grocery, located at Edun Street, Tucville. Customers can also place orders for delivery around central Georgetown with Gittens-McEwan via her Instagram and Facebook pages- Kishy’s Curly Cocktails.
Gittens-McEwan noted that the hair oil is expected to hit other stores in the very near future.