- Story Highlights
- Kj Naturals open at 15 E 1st St. in August
Katrina Josey is whipping up something healthy in the kitchen of her downtown Dayton shop, but it is not for your belly.
"I want to be the Mary Kay of black hair care products," the Trotwood High School grad said.
An exercise physiologist and health education specialist by trade, Josey opened Kj Naturals at 15 E 1st St. in August.
The Dayton native with degrees from Ohio State University and Walden University started the natural hair and skin care business in her home in 2013.
She offers the Kj Naturals brand for sale, and private label products sold by others under the name of their choosing.
Her clients also include hair salons, boutiques and hotels.
Kj Natural products are also on sale for individual orders in the store, and on Josey's Etsy page.
Her now 8-year-old daughter Kristien's hair and eczema issues inspired the company.
"I did not know what to do with her (natural) hair and I didn't want to relax it," Josey said.
She began doing research.
The oils and creams she whipped up helped Kristien's eczema and hair.
The "j" in the store's name is lower cased to represent her daughter, little KJ.
She's big KJ.
Josey offered some of the products online in May of 2013.
"It kept growing and growing and growing," said Josey, now a mother of two. "I found people had the same problems -- dry hair, eczema."
Josey's younger daughter, Gabrielle, is 5.
She said her studies in microbiology and background in health came in handy.
"I was really working with the same things, but on the outside of the body," she said. "The things that are good on the inside of your body are good on the outside."
Josey uses an arsenal of ingredients that includes Shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, mango butter, argan oil, jojoba oil, silk amino, and panthenol (a form of vitamin B5) to make products ranging from beard oil to hair twisting butter to lip balm to Neapolitan hair growth conditioner to body oil and curl cream.
The raw African black soap is the only product not made by Josey sold in the store. Everything else is handmade by Josey and her three-person staff.
The store's kitchen attracted her to the location. It previously housed Rock Stars Subs & Salads. Now it looks like a mashup between a bakery and laboratory.
Josey's clientele includes downtown workers and residents.
"My products are not just for black women, they are for anyone," she said.
Products can be tailored to needs and substitutions can be made to avoid allergies, she said.
Josey plans to hold classes in the new future for those who want to make their own hair and skin products.