Minktresses is a dynamic hair, accessories, beauty, and jewelry retailer with an exceptional online presence. The brand offers quality, competitively priced items ranging from faux fur hoods and ankh earrings, to nail wraps and bulk hair, and more. The talented owner, Kia Noir, also operates a brick and mortar Minktresses in Baltimore, Maryland (226 W. Read St.). The store is known for its unique pieces, friendly customer service, and quality products. When I spoke to Kia (a New York native) by phone, we discussed her incredible store, possibly bringing the brand home, and even a little Weave 101!
BROWNIE MARIE: Being a New York native, is New York the first place you would want to open another Minktresses location?
KIA NOIR: New York is at the top of the list, but I am considering other locations.
You were a Theater and International Studies major at NYU. What was your Theater concentration?
It was acting. I was just talking about that-- someone wants me to get back into it but I don't have time right now with everything that's going on [with the business].
I'm very intimidated at the thought of buying hair online, and I'm sure a lot of other women are also. When you buy raw hair from Minktresses, what country or countries is the hair coming from?
I'm sure you already know that raw hair is virgin, untreated, donated hair, usually from India. [Minktresses is] unique in that I'm able to get hair from Malaysia as well, which is more rare. Most people that claim to sell Malaysian [hair] are actually selling processed Chinese hair.
Yikes. Another hair question: What exactly is a "weave closure"?
A weave closure is similar to a man's toupee in that it covers and protects the natural hair underneath a weave. It also makes the weave easier to blend with the natural hair that is left out.
Thank you for the clarification! You also have some great beauty products on your site. Tell me about the Minktresses' Detox!
The Detox is a herbal weight loss supplement that people have had great results with. Women are losing up to 20 lbs. per month, and men are losing weight with it also. There are no major changes in diet needed, and it doesn't contain any caffeine. No one likes the jitters.
You have very unique jewelry on the website. I like that it's not too celebrity-driven and copying the popular designs. How do you balance carrying pieces that look one-of-a-kind and yet appeal to a mass audience?
I know myself and a lot of women like to have pieces that not everyone is wearing, so that's something that's important to me. I also work with indie designers to find original items. It's especially nice to collaborate with other women of color, like myself. It feels good to help each other and it's a way to give back.
Will you be participating in New York Fashion Week?
I will be out of the country, but I am looking forward to attending Fashion Week Brooklyn [October 3-6].