Konnie Wells’s pastime for engineering began in highschool. “I used to be offered to the Nationwide Society of Black Engineers and I stopped up entering that program,” Wells tells POPSUGAR. After fostering that pastime, she was once offered to 3-d printing and design in faculty. “I went to the College of Missouri, Kansas Town, and whilst I used to be there, the ones have been my favourite topics,” she says. “I did not truly revel in any of the opposite stuff.” Noticing her affinity for the gap, her very best good friend purchased her a 3-d printer, and she or he’s been merging her love of era and hair ever since.
Whether or not you are one among Wells’s virtually 30,000 TikTok fans or simply probably the most hundreds of thousands who’ve stumbled upon her movies at the app, you recognize that the engineer has an affinity for taking liked cosmetic merchandise and equipment up a notch. “I discovered the best way to braid when I used to be 12, however I do not truly revel in it,” Wells says. “A lot of my 3-d printing now comes from me questioning what I will do to make the method more uncomplicated, extra relaxing, and aesthetically enjoyable.”
This interest has ended in Wells growing braiding stands, gel wristbands, protractor combs, or even filters to assist other folks phase their hair extra simply — the video that includes the latter has been considered over 3 million instances and counting. Nonetheless, her preliminary revel in with the sweetness area was once born out of necessity. “I needed to discover ways to do hair after my older sister left,” she says. “I might observe on my more youthful sibling and it led to me having to DIY so much as a result of we did not have a lot cash to visit the sweetness provide retailer.” Operating with makeshift gear and equipment inadvertently ready Wells to transform a number one innovator within the cosmetic area.
As she continues to merge the worlds of 3-d printing and cosmetic, Wells no longer handiest needs to create cutting edge merchandise but in addition evoke alternate within the trade from the interior out. “At the leading edge of anything else that I design is a need to make cosmetic merchandise extra practical for Black ladies,” Wells says. “We do not have to repurpose home goods like thread racks to reach our desired seems, and we mustn’t settle for that manufacturers have blatantly been brushing aside our wishes within the hair area, particularly once we are one among cosmetic’s greatest shoppers.” It is true — in 2021, Black American citizens spent virtually seven billion bucks on beauty-related pieces making up 11.1 p.c of the overall US cosmetic marketplace, in step with McKinsey. Nonetheless, true fairness within the area remains to be an uphill fight.
Whilst she is acutely aware of how a lot of an enterprise this pastime challenge of hers might be as she scales her trade, Krysanthum, Wells says she’s up for the problem and hopes to encourage others within the procedure.
“I need to proceed to be a trailblazer on this area,” she says. “I do know I have been doing issues backward through getting the patents after disclosing my innovations, however I hope that the choice of people who find themselves thinking about my paintings and are supporting it could display possible traders the worth in making an investment in this sort of cosmetic era.”
Preferably, this trail will result in her proudly owning a cosmetic provide retailer, a dream that Wells says is for her neighborhood up to it’s for herself. “I need to personal and assist others personal Black hair shops with merchandise which are designed for us, in an area made through us,” she says. “I need the folk that paintings in those shops to be a professional and assist to foster a way of actual neighborhood for cosmetic enthusiasts, without reference to your talent or revel in degree.” Given the extent of ingenuity and grit that she’s already displayed, it is transparent that Wells is on her method to doing simply that.