Interview With Ayieta Crawford of SwapSack

03/04/2013 | By | More


We at YourNaturalHair.Com thought it would be interesting and worthwhile to interview some of the young black women (and men) changing the multi-billion dollar black hair care industry. We’re calling this series “The Faces of the Natural Hair Care Industry.” This is important because before the recent wave of natural hair care products, women with coily/kinky hair were slaves of corporations mass producing their hair care products. Many of these products have subsequently been proven to cause hair breakage, issues with the scalp, and other health concerns for the female body.

Over the past 10 years scores of small businesses popped up, each offering a selection of hand made products designed specifically for dry curly/coily hair worn in its natural state. For the most part, these cottage industry enterprises sell their wares on the web, avoiding the expense of establishing brick and mortar retail stores.

Other women that were selected for interviews are influential in a different way – perhaps organizing natural hair care groups, educating women escaping relaxers and perms about their natural hair and what it needs, or opening up natural hair care salons in their city.

I hope that you find these interviews and the information shared by these small business owners and leaders in the natural hair movement to be of value. Look for more interviews during the coming weeks. And if you are a shop owner or want to recommend an interview with someone, please use the Contact Us link and tell us about it!

Ayieta Crawford of Swapsack


Your Name:  Ayieta Crawford

Your Website:

Find you on Facebook at:, or

Connect with you on Twitter at: @swapsack




What is the name of your business and what does it do? What are your short-term and long-term business goals?

SwapSacklogoSwapSack focuses on getting the most out of the hair and skin care products you buy in two ways. First, we operate a totally free online product swap group where you can swap, buy or sell new and gently used products. You can swap products purchased or received from anywhere. Second we offer a monthly product subscription service that ships our members a variety of products they can try and/or swap in the swap group. SwapSack is the lowest monthly product subscription service priced at just $14.50 per month. Each month our members do not receive the same products as all the other members – so large swapping pool of products is created – that is if you choose to swap your products! Also, with your monthly subscription, you have the option of excluding one ingredient from your SwapSack – so if you stay away from sulfates, your SwapSack will stay away from them too!

What made you interested originally in the whole “natural hair” thing? How long have you been wearing your hair “natural?

I’ve been making products for natural hair for over 6 years now. My customers asked and so I delivered. I thought about it, but felt like my texture may not work well naturally (delusional) and I was concerned with what my hair would look like really short. Over the last 10 years I have gone spans of as long as a year without a relaxer, by keeping my hair in braids, Senegalese or flat twists. Every time I would say “ok, might as well go natural” then for some reason just get a relaxer. The last time I did that in October of 2011, I experienced horrible breakage, to the point where I decided it was time and in July of 2012 I BC’ed.

More and more women are leaving relaxers behind and transitioning to wearing their natural hair. What do you think is behind the movement to “going natural”? Is there actually a “movement”, or do you think for most women it’s just the latest fad?

I feel like it is a combination of all of these things. I think as a people, we tend to go through cycles – its evident in many areas of our lifestyles. Take music – in the late 70’s early 80’s it was all about partying, then in mid to late 80’s early 90’s hip hop became very pro-black and conscious. Now again its just about partying and bragging…oh how I wait for it to be come conscious and intellectual again, but I digress. I think it’s the same thing with our hair – we went from afro love in the 70’s to fried, dyed and laid to the side and now back loving our natural crowns. Some are just jumping on the bandwagon because it’s becoming more widely acceptable, but some really want to connect with and appreciate their natural beauty.

What would you say are the biggest or most frequent mistakes natural hair wearers make ?SmallerSack1

Wanting their hair to do things it can’t. Not all natural hair has or will ever have perfectly defined big, bouncy curls. You have to embrace your texture, whatever it may be.

Please share your wisdom on natural hair with the readership. Can you give us three of your best suggestions or tips for success?

  1. Be patient.
  2. Accept your texture.
  3. Research and experiment. There is no one perfect product or routine for everyone’s natural hair, you’re going to have to work to find what works for you individually.

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Category: Faces of the Natural Hair Industry

About the Author ()

Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.

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