Get Familiar
We mean it when we say talent runs in the family. Our latest Get Familiar is with entrepreneur and hairdresser Anoeska Schmidt, cousin of Patta co-owner Gee Schmidt. We had the honour to have a talk with Anoeska about her journey and future plans for her hair salon The Natural Nation. Anoeska worked together with Patta on a special "We The Nation" hoodie which is available for purchase at The Natural Nation salon in Amsterdam

Anoeska, please introduce yourself and your company to our readers.
My name is Anoeska Schmidt I enjoy exploring my thoughts about life, nature, spirituality and growing in all fases. Around the age of 21 I decided I wanted to focus on all natural black hair types. Since 2010 I specialised myself in black hair and started The Natural Nation. I fully enjoy my work as a creator with an ongoing growing business.

Tell us about your journey with The Natural Nation.
My journey with TNN was pretty organic as my costumers base grew I took steps in moving to bigger places. Because I had some knowledge about business I made sure I had a business plan and stayed close to what I wanted.

What are the upsides and downsides of being a small business owner?
The upsides of being a small business owner are: you can make quick changes, I still feel free, the people I work with are more like family, making decisions together goes easy.
The downside is that when you're sick it's harder to stay sick for a long time. But that's not a big problem because I'm quiet a workaholic.

When did your relationship with hair care start?
I started doing my own hair when I was 10 because, I felt like I wanted to understand more about my hair. Since the age of 12 I started braiding and locking for other people. Growing older and learning more about black history my urgency to open a spot where people can come and visit, be themselves and getting knowledge about there own hair grew even more.

What does your hair mean to you?
Everything and nothing!

I love my hair, it's amazing that I can express myself in so many ways with my hair

Did you at some point make a transition from Eurocentric hairstyles to your natural hair?
Yes I did wen I was 18 or 19 years old. I didn't feel like it was necessary to offer these types of hairstyles or even wearing them myself was good for me at that time. It was also never a passion to create styles like that so I went fully black at the age of 21.

How would you ideally style your own child's hair?
Oooo I would lock it quick! Or just let it grow naturally and leave as a fro, braid and twist it. Hihih. 

The Patta co branded Natural Nation sweater is available at your salon, tell us how this idea came to fruition.
In celebration of our 10 years anniversary and bringing a homage to how The Natural Nation grew as a community. I felt like we needed something durable, warm and of good quality with the slogan "We the Nation" for our community to wear. Gee and Edson made this dream come true. As a matter of fact writing this I'm wearing my "We The Nation" hoodie.
What are your future plans for The Natural Nation?
Currently I am rewriting my business plan. We have some nice plans we're working on. Let us manifest first a couple of things so we can share some more later on. But one thing is for sure The Natural Nation will grow to be an international company.

Do you have any tips for those starting their own company?
Last but not least there is nothing wrong with growing slowly and steady.