Your Loc Muse was founded on a profoundly personal journey of founder Jasmin Thames’s ambition and desire to set an example for her young daughter. Thames is both a devoted mother and daughter when it comes to putting her family first, so when confronted with the challenging decision of returning to work after having her baby or staying home to care for her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, the answer was simple. In an incredible act of love and resilience, she put her career on hold and focused on caring for her mother. Her mother triumphantly beat her cancer, and through this journey, Your Loc Muse was born.
While this pivot happened during a trialing time for Thames, she had always dreamed of starting her own business. Inspired by both her mother and boyfriend, who both donned locs, she set forward on her loc journey to embrace her natural hair. The spiral tie founder was exhausted from the extensive maintenance it took to maintain her curls and wanted to free herself of the pressures that were tied to her hair’s appearance. She also hoped to inspire her daughter to love herself for who she is rather than striving to meet society’s unobtainable beauty standards.
Despite her newfound love for locs, the founder struggled with finding comfortable styles in between retwists and was experiencing tender-headedness. It was during her quest for the perfect solution that she stumbled upon spiral loc ties. From this, she reimagined the product by leveraging her marketing background and telling stories to go along with her product. She saw an opportunity to create a brand that solved a common problem and embodied a lifestyle of confidence, comfort, and self-acceptance.
Your Loc Muse is a testament to the beauty of embracing our authentic selves and rejecting external pressures. ESSENCE caught up with Thames to learn more about her loc journey, how her stories and marketing set her apart, and the impact she hopes to make on the loc community.
How did Your Loc Muse come to be?
Your Loc Muse came to fruition after my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was two months postpartum. I just had a baby in December 2020. And in February 2021, I was supposed to return to work. And the week before I was supposed to return, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. So I had a decision to make. Do I return to work? Or do I take this time off to take care of my mom? I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom and take care of my mom. Thank God she beat her journey, and from that, Your Loc Muse was birthed. That was the end of 2021. Going into 2022. I was burnt out. I was trying to figure out what was next for me. But I knew I loved business. So I wanted to try another business venture before going back to corporate. And so far, it’s been working out.
Can you tell me about your loc journey?
I have wanted to loc my hair for years. My mom has had locks for about 18 years, and even my boyfriend has locs. But I would let people talk me out of it. They’d say, “ Oh, your hair is too pretty.” What does that mean? But again, I would let people talk me out of it. Being a mom to a newborn and taking care of my mom, what is left to me? So I decided to finally go ahead and loc my hair. One of the reasons why I decided to loc my hair was because of my daughter. I didn’t want her to grow up feeling like she needed her hair done to feel pretty. There would be days I wouldn’t go out with my friends because my hair wasn’t done. I don’t want my daughter to grow up feeling like she has to be dolled up all the time to be confident. So I got locs. And the day after I got loc’ed, I just stood in the mirror wondering why I hadn’t done this sooner. I felt like this was me. The next step was figuring out how to style my locs and deal with this tender-headedness.
Can you talk about becoming tender-headed after starting your locs and how your business came to be from this?
I became super tender-headed, but I needed a way to still look presentable in between retwist while being comfortable. And spiral loc ties aren’t new. They’ve been around for at least ten years. But I will say I am the first to do branding this way. I’m trying to sell a lifestyle. I want women and young girls to be able to show up confident and comfortable. That was the whole idea behind the brand.
Can you talk about how your product helps to alleviate tension?
My product is made from a bendable wire. This is not a new product. But every brand that makes it does it differently. The reason why it’s tension-free is that its wire. Ponytail holders, are elastic and don’t have as much give to be able to loosen up. With the spiral ties you are wrapping around your ponytail, you can make it as tight or as loose as you want. It’s not going anywhere. I can’t even feel it on my head. Even if you don’t have loc and are tender-headed naturally, but you like to wear ponytails, you can still wear these. With traditional ponytail holders, I find by the end of the day, I have a headache. I can wear the spiral ties for four days straight comfortably. It’s flexible. And there’s no limit to how they can be styled. I’ve seen people style them in very creative ways.
What are your thoughts on the stigma that’s placed on black women when it comes to their hair?
People put so much emphasis on beauty when it comes to hair and especially when it comes to black women. It’s just hair. When I was in college, I would just randomly cut my hair. It was how I expressed myself. If I felt like I was going through a rough patch, I’d just cut it. My beauty has nothing to do with my hair. Beauty is being able to show up confident and comfortable in who you are whether your hair is done or not. But why? Why do I have to leave the house with my hair done to be deemed as beautiful? It’s exhausting and I don’t want my daughter to grow up that way.
What goes into making a spiral tie?
For the first eight months, it was just me. I made 1,600 spiral ties by myself. Every month I would say I make anywhere between 150-250 spiral ties. So when people see the processing time, they wonder why it takes so long, and it’s because these are all handmade in the office. The first step is actually forming the wire. Then we have to cut the fabric. The fabric then has to be sewn. You then insert the wire inside the fabric. And then the last step is closing the spiral tie with the string. It’s a six to seven-step process. One spiral tie could take anywhere from an hour and 15 minutes to 35 minutes. It just depends on the length of the spiral tie.
Since this is a product that has already been around, how have you been able to build traction and differentiate yourself from the competition?
Authenticity. In the beginning, I would share a lot about my day to day and my story. I make sure people know is me behind the marketing. My background in marketing and branding. But I’m the one running the show behind my brand. I’m the one responding back to comments and DMs. It’s me behind the customer service. So when people try to replicate what I’m doing, my customers can flag it immediately. Yes, I am selling spiral ties that have been done before, but my focus is on building a brand through visual storytelling. That’s how I stand apart.
For example, my Black Friday campaign. I found out that I was getting this office space probably two weeks before. And I’m like, we’re gonna stage a break-in at the new office. I sat down and brainstormed how I wanted the visuals to look. I wanted it to seem like the girls found out where the new office was, and they got early access to the Black Friday spiral ties. I call my uncle, I got his van. We had the girls pull up, and they came and broke into the office. And the concept focus was for the girls to get early access. Why? Because I wanted people to come and sign up for my list, so they could also get early access. It’s how I get engagement and set myself apart all while having a great time and doing what I love.
Last summer, there was a large wave of women considering going back to relaxers, but it seems many women took a hard left and stumbled upon the loc movement. What are your thoughts on the loc movement gaining traction?
The beauty in black women deciding to loc their hair is them finally realizing that beauty is not determined by hair. Its bringing back individuality. If we both had the same hair texture and both decided to get locs, we’re going to have two completely different set of locs. You may have a loc muse and try to replicate their hair down to the loc count and it will still loc differently. It teaches you to love your own hair and to be true to yourself.
You can shop Jasmin Thames spiral ties at www.yourlocmuse.com.
We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on the links we provide, we may receive compensation.