Two young sisters from St-Hubert, south of Montreal, are inspiring tens of thousands of followers in Canada and beyond.
The pair, who are Black, have a thriving business selling hair products and other accessories. It’s called Koily Kurls, a reference to their curly hair.
“I wanted to show other little girls and other people that their hair is beautiful; your natural hair is great,” explained 11-year-old Kyra Milan.
Everything started when she was five years old with her mother, Shenika Paris, posting the child’s hair tutorials on YouTube. The online following started to skyrocket and Milan began getting sponsorships as a natural hair influencer.
“She’s worked with Barbie Canada, Michaels, H&M, Sephora,” said Paris. “She worked with, so far, over 300 brands.”
The mother says three years ago Milan decided she wanted to sell her own products. By then her sister, Kali Brown, now seven years old was old enough to work with her, so they started the business.
“They chose the colours, they chose the name,” Paris told Global News. “Basically everything about the business, it’s the girls. It’s just me handling the day to day, like the customers.”
She says she also runs the Instagram accounts for the business as well the ones for her daughters, pointing out that “they don’t have phones or go on Instagram or TikTok. The only one they see is YouTube.”
According to her, the family doesn’t discuss social media traffic nor how much the children make from brands.
Still, the girls have clients across the globe thanks to their social media exposure. For Milan, the priority is helping young girls embrace their curly hair.
“Your curly hair can do a lot of things,” she insisted from a room at the family home that serves as warehouse, play room and guest bedroom. “Yes, you can straighten it, but you can also make a bunch of different styles.”
Their father, Kemani Brown, is proud of the example the girls are setting for others.
“They’re working towards a goal,” he pointed out. “They’re recognizing what it is that they want out of life.”
The sisters believe they are learning a good deal about life from the whole experience.
“I still do school and sports and stuff,” Milan noted, “so how to manage your time, how to be more…” “Mature,” her sister chimed in, grinning.