Originally from Sacramento, CA Lindsey Day, the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the new Black women’s hair magazine CRWN, said she got her tough attitude from her dad’s relatives on the east coast. Not only that, she has always had the drive to change the world around her and the tenacity to see it through.
“I always wanted to help people,” Day said, “that was something that was like a common thread I really wanted to do something in my work that would help others.”
Prior to CRWN, Day was familiar with the startup arena after working in the music industry and in other entrepreneurial environments, including the launch of her first online magazine centered around professional women. But it was the consulting business that she started that led her to reconnect with long-time colleague, current business partner and the co-founder and creative director of CRWN, Nkrumah Farrar. Since then CRWN became Day’s focus as the purpose and importance of the magazine became more clear.
As Day shared her story with us, it became clear how this journey coupled with her drive to do things that she has passion for would lead her to create CRWN – a first of its kind beauty and lifestyle magazine that aims to print the most authentic representations of Black women, emphasizing natural hair. In the following interview, Day shares experiences along her journey to CRWN and what impact she hopes the magazine can bring.
BYP: What was your natural hair journey like and is it reflected anywhere in CRWN?
Lindsey Day: For me CRWN is meant to tell our hair story. I’m a very, naturally introverted person.. I didn’t speak directly to my personal hair story in Issue One… I think for me I want to make space to tell the stories that aren’t often told. Growing up I didn’t see women with my hair texture, especially women with coarser hair texture in magazines, or anything that really spoke to us…. For example my mother, my cousin, so many of my friends that have transitioned to wearing their hair naturally are learning their hair textures as adults, we want to use CRWN for those conversations.
LD: When it comes to my personal hair journey, it was kind of feeling like being between two worlds. When you go to sleepovers…[my hair had] different processes from other girls. There has been a strong response to my hair, negative responses to my hair… I ran from that conversation for years, “Let me slick it back and put it in a bun.” And then I got old enough to straighten my hair. It’s funny to me that I ended up working on a hair magazine. It’s like therapy for me. My hair journey has been rediscovering my natural hair texture… and [your hair journey] is with your mom, and your sisters, and hair as it pertains and relates to Black women. There is so much sisterhood around hair, I think there is so much unity in it but we’re so divided by it at the same time. But I think it’s changing and I think it’s beautiful… That’s why immortalizing this story in print is so important.
BYP: How did your prior experiences with media/magazines prep you for CRWN’s creation and launch?
LD: It prepped me in a variety of ways. From the music industry, I got hustle and being interpersonal… That mentality of “build it yourself”… Essentially, “lets bootstrap and make it happen ourselves before anything else.” I’ve worked with a lot of businesses [on the lean startup model]. We are our resources. Also, working at Intern Queen, I was doing content, blog, social, customer service, ambassador programs, locking in brands for digital advertising… In so many ways those are all of the things i’m doing now, and moving to New York City got me into the hustle. I’ve learned the hustle never stops there is never a true downtime; it’s all good this is what I signed up for.
BYP: The first issue was released at Afropunk, congratulations, how was it received? Are there any moments from the festival that stuck out to you?
LD: It was well-received, it was a great weekend… It was great getting it into people’s hands… It’s crazy you have this idea, this vision and then it’s in physical form. It’s been kind of a surreal, the response watching it pop up on social media, people talking about it, having a physical manifestation of your dream. That is the moment over and over… It would be one thing if it was a gossip magazine or something but the stories shared in CRWN and the way we are represented in CRWN and the perspectives, conversations, the images of us are so powerful and so different than anything else we’ve seen in print.
BYP: CRWN represents (to me) an intersection of activism and culture, lifestyle. There is revolutionary self-care in natural beauty for Black women. Do you see CRWN as a part of the bigger social justice movement for Black lives?
LD: I think there’s no way for us to have a magazine for Black women and not to shed light on things that are affecting our community. This is so far beyond a hair magazine with pretty pictures, it is a lifestyle magazine for today’s Black woman… What is more representative of the female Black body than our hair? It’s the thing that has kept us from going swimming, or out when it’s raining or when we’re in transition [from one hair style to the next] and we’re chillin in the house. We all have hairstories, our hair represents us but we want to use this as a way to shed light on things that are deeper… I think we still have so many blocks mentally our minds are still telling us that we’re less than; you feel like you didn’t get the job offer because your hair wasn’t straight in the interview, it’s affecting more than just our self-esteem, it’s sending money out of our communities. What does it look like if we have more dollars circulating in our community?
BYP: What do you want/see for CRWN in the future?
LD: I want it to be the place that you can come for authentic depictions of Blackness, and Black womanhood, Black beauty. I want women to know when they get CRWN they can open it and they can see themselves. I want to hear the story “I decided to transition to natural hair because of CRWN” or “My daughter saw CRWN and now she wants to be an entrepreneur.” I want it to be the thing that shows us the possibilities… We’re all in it together, “we outchea” as we say, and we’re doing it even if we aren’t in the same room or the same country; Maya Angelou said, “I go forth alone and stand as 10 thousand.” You can see it in the digital space, but I want it to be that physical reminder that you and your sisters and your girls come by and have conversations about…bring the brothers in on the conversation too, even outside of just black people. [CRWN gives] a glimpse into what matters to us and hopefully it will make people want to join the cause, understand us better, understand our humanity. We aren’t conveyed in a human way by media, it’s easy for a police to shoot someone that’s not human… I want to bridge that gap at the end of the day and to really showcase who we are as human beings because clearly, Black life matters.
Lindsey Day is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of CRWN magazine. Learn more about CRWN and get the first issue at http://www.crwnmag.com/
Photos: Lindsey Day/CRWN