When Grade 4 Mustang Ona Oli was six years old, she asked her mom why her hair wasn’t “pretty” or straight like her classmates. To help encourage her, Ona’s mom shared positive affirmations, wore matching hairstyles, and got her a Black doll, but Ona still didn’t understand why her Black doll’s hair was straight and not curly like hers.
This is how Beautiful Curly Me was born.
Ona not only has a passion for encouraging girls who look like her to feel empowered and beautiful, but for all girls to be confident and know that they can do anything! She strives to help all of her “curlfriends” feel #curlyandconfident!
If she could tell girls struggling with confidence anything, she shared, “you’re beautiful just the way you are, and theres nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. Love yourself!”
Through Beautiful Curly Me, Ona created two dolls, Anika who rocks a braided hairstyle, and Leyla who has a head full of curls. As the company began to grow, Ona and her mom, Evana, noticed how discouraged they were with the sleep cap choices at their local beauty shop. So they decided to create their own! Not only did they create sleep caps for adults and young girls, but also caps to fit your dolls!
When the pandemic began, Ona was one of many Mustangs to give back to the Atlanta community. Beautiful Curly Me began making face masks, and for every two masks purchased, one was donated to healthcare worker in the Atlanta area. To date, Ona’s company has donated more than $10,000 worth of masks.
She was seen on CBS46 saying, “The community needs them [masks] to stay safe, and since we already make our sleep caps here in Atlanta, it was an easy switch and I am so glad to be able to help others at a time like this.”
Not only did Ona donate masks to frontline workers, but 10% of all proceeds through Beautiful Curly Me are donated back to organizations that empower girls.
Ona can now add author next to CEO on her quickly-growing resume with her newest project for Beautiful Curly Me.
On August 25, Ona Zoe Oli released her first book, named after her business. As seen in her promotional video below, Beautiful Curly Me, the book, empowers young, curly girls and inspires self confidence in them.
In addition to her book, Ona has also released a gratitude journal, Say It, Show It. It’s all about gratitude and showing thanks, and includes different gratitude challenges and activities. She plans to release another journal focused on confidence.
Ona and her mom live by the PEP Method, and hope to share it with other parents as a way to lift up their children with self-love and confidence. The PEP Method stands for positive affirmation, leading by example, and play – what kinds of books are you reading, what kind of shows are you watching? Do they help empower your child?
In the future, Ona hopes to expand Beautiful Curly Me by adding events like sleepovers and tea parties, with programming focusing on self-love, empowerment, confidence, and girl power!
Ona shared that she’s thankful for “her mom, her dad, her business, her dolls and masks, Mount Vernon, and Zoom!”
As a Mustang, Evana thinks that it’s helped Ona thrive as a public speaker and business owner. “Mount Vernon is such a great place because it gives students the opportunity to be leaders through projects like the Mock Election in third grade and courses like maker. She is a leader through her business, but Mount Vernon has helped make her much more well rounded.”
Check out all that Beautiful Curly Me has to offer on their website!