Find out what it’s really like being a braider from professional braid stylist, Chestina Mobley. Chestina is a stylist based in Jacksonville, FL, who specializes in braids. After just a few years of working, she partnered up with a friend from cosmetology school, and now has her own well-known and thriving shop. As a friend of Outre, we had a chance to learn all about her experiences and her advice for aspiring braiders.
1. Why did you decide to become a braider?
After I graduated cosmetology school a classmate of mine ,Ella, invited me to work at her shop she just purchased. I was hesitant because I wanted to style hair and her shop was a braid shop. Ella advised me that I can use braiding as a stepping stone to get to where I wanted to be. Ella helped me work on braiding skills everyday even when I didn’t have a client I pulled out my mannequin head and practiced until it became natural to me. 7 years later after not giving up and consistently working on my craft, my classmate became my business partner and Braids by Design is a known braiding shop in Jacksonville, FL for quality.
2. What do you think makes your braiding styles unique?
The first thing that makes our styles unique, is having a unique braiding product such as Outre braiding hair. If you learn and love a product it show in your work and gives inspiration to any new style. Braids by Design entire vision is based on consistency. Our team uses the same techniques that took us over 6 years to master, to give each client a lasting, professional look. The difference between us, and shops alike is that we’re constantly finding ways to improve and tweak our craft. Every client is a new opportunity for us to showcase our work.
3. What is your favorite part about braiding?
After standing 6-8 hours a day, it’s a given that our favorite part about braiding is seeing someone appreciate your art so much, that they’re taking selfies before they leave the salon.
4. Where do you find your braiding inspiration?
Thankfully, I work with such a talented group of ladies, that inspiration isn’t hard to come by. Our clients are constantly finding new styles for us to master, such as a free flowing hairstyle that our client might us to translate in braids. I take in consideration color, parting, how the hair lays and what else I can do to make this style close as possible to customers desired look.
5. What tips do you have for aspiring braiders?
Use awesome products such as X-pression braiding hair and Outre products, because a lot of times your client will ask “what hair should I get?” and you would want your client to use the best. If you need to learn how to use the X-pression hair and Outre braiding products look us up on FB & Instagram for tips and classes on how to get the best results by using Outre braiding products. The biggest piece of advice that I can pitch, is to take pride in your brand. Go to technique training classes, invest in your success. Quality means everything in a world where everyone is trying to join the “braids bandwagon”. If you aren’t serious about the work you produce, no one will take you seriously as a professional.
6. What do you envision for the future for braiding?
The beauty of being a braider, is that our hairstyles can be as eccentric or as subtle as we need them. Braids are becoming a mainstream go to style for all ethnicities, especially the natural hair community that has blossomed over the last few years. As a whole I see braids revolutionizing the modern day professional scene. From CEO’S to librarians, there are styles that anyone can wear and rock!