We'd like to introduce to you this talented Baldie in Business, Amanda Reid, Creator and Founder of Amanda Reid Designs. It was indeed a pleasure to speak with her and get her story on how she started Amanda Reid Designs and most importantly how she became a Baldie.
How did you get started?
While I have always been creative, I learned the art of calligraphy while planning for my own wedding while in graduate school. I took multiple calligraphy and lettering workshops so I could create my own beautiful, hand-lettered decor. Calligraphy has become a creative escape for me and very therapeutic. I practiced almost daily, and my class notes were covered in pretty lettering. After graduating from Physical Therapy school, I began working as a physical therapist and realized I became so busy I had no time for my creative outlet. After about 6 months of being stressed and working non-stop, I decided to go part-time with physical therapy and then launched Amanda Reid Designs 4 months later. It has been a process learning the business side of becoming an entrepreneur, developing my brand, and learning my style. But I am much happier now that I am able to create and do something that I love.
What inspired your passion for what you do?
The three pillars behind my business are Creativity, Community, and Inspiration. While I love creating beautiful calligraphy for weddings, events, and brands, these three things remind me why I do what I do. My goal is to inspire others to tap into their creative side and to truly do what makes them happy. Community and bringing people together is also huge for me in my business, which is why I love teaching workshops to teach others the art of calligraphy, and created a network to connect other minority calligraphers called Calligraphers of Color. Being a black woman and a bald woman, I realized there are not a lot of calligraphers that look like me, and I really wanted to change that. So I launched Calligraphers of Color on Instagram in 2019, to highlight and feature other minority calligraphers and create an inclusive community where we share our businesses, resources, and to develop a library for vendors who are seeking to support businesses of color.
How did you become a baldie?
I officially became a baldie on my 30th birthday last year, and I called it my "Emancipation Day." I have been battling hair loss for over 15 years and hiding under wigs and weaves. There is nothing wrong with wearing wigs or weaves, I was just tired of feeling like I HAD to wear them. I got to a point where I was just tired of hiding and feeling like I had to keep this big secret. When you wear wigs all the time, there is always this fear that it will come off in public so you avoid certain activities or don't let people get too close. I was ready for that to be over. My husband was in full support and helped me shave my head. It's a decision that I am very happy that I made and I wish I had done it sooner.
How did you gain the courage to expose your baldness publicly?
Before going public with my baldness, I was terrified and contemplated whether or not to expose my head publicly for months. I began to follow The Baldie Movement on Instagram, looked up baldies on Pinterest, and Facebook and I realized that others are doing it and rocking it! I even saved pictures on my phone for inspiration. The ultimate moment for me was when I prayed about it. Yes, I was seeing women on social media who were rocking their bald, but I didn't see anyone around me in my local area. So I prayed and asked God to show me some real women in my city who were bald. That same day, I saw not one, but two different beautiful black women who were bald and unashamed. One was at a grocery store, the other I saw walking down the street. That's when I decided that I was going to do it too.
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