The direct translation of Kalayaan is ``Freedom`` in filipino. The reason this name was chosen was because of why the whole company started in the first place, here's the story...
How it Started
My name is Erikah Gaspar and I grew up in a not so diverse town. Being different wasn't easy. My skin was darker, my hair was curlier, likely anyone with curly or kinky hair has a similar story to mine.
When there was finally a straightener that could get rid of my curls, you never saw anyone jump so fast. So it began, straightening daily, bleaching my hair blonde, you name it, I did it, because it was all I knew in order to be beautiful. And then instagram happened, and oh how wonderful it was. There were curly girls everywhere! Beautiful ones, ones that made me realize that I had a blessing on my head, ones that made me inspired. I gave up straightening my hair in November 2013. I was so excited!
But then life happened. I went through an extremely stressful time in my life. So bad in fact, that my hair started falling out in chunks, to the point where I had bald spots on my head. I wore my hair back everyday for more than a year because the sight of my hair down would often bring me to tears.
ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH
When enough was enough, I started researching healthy products and would stay up tirelessly trying to find the best ingredients for my hair.
When I realized what I was looking for wasn't on the market, I decided to develop it myself. From heavy research and countless trails in 2015, to making it on kitchen counter tops in 2016, to having a whole team of people help bring every part of this vision to life now. We are constantly striving to better ourselves, while never forgetting why we started in the first place.
My whole idea behind working on these products was being able to have the freedom to wear my hair natural. We're all different and we're all beautiful, so why should there only be one standard of beauty? Rooted in my desire for inclusivity and acceptance of all the things that make us uniquely, us. Kalayaan applies to everybody, it just so happened to be the thing that helped me love myself the way I was born, and I truly hope it can make you all feel that way too.