Wednesday, 2nd March 2016
First of all, Thank you so much for visiting my website and your interest in Game of Braids 🙂
I thought I would start my first post off with a bit about myself and how Game of Braids got started…
I haven’t always been good at braiding. To be honest, I used to be quite terrible at it. I loved my barbie dolls as a kid but could never braid their hair. All my friends could though, which drove me nuts! I was one of those kids who would get irrationally shitty too – me attempting to braid my barbies hair usually ended up in me having a bit of a tantrum and throwing a hair brush across the room all while wailing about how life wasn’t fair….
Skip forward a decade or so and I end up doing my Cert III in Childrens Services at TAFE and then working in a day care centre. That’s when I finally decided to give braiding another go. One of the other staff members there could do some really good braids (bringing back the old resentful feelings I had as a child towards my friends) and I thought “stuff it, I’ll give this another crack”. At the time I mostly worked as an extra pair of hands/ floater between all the rooms and centres so I sometimes found myself with a bit of time on my hands – perfect braiding practice opportunity! Especially after nap time/ quiet time. I can’t say I was too great to start with, but the kids loved it! I gradually got better and started to do half decent jobs. I even had one of the Mums invite me around for dinner to teach her how to braid one night (and who in their right mind would say no to a free roast chicken dinner?!?).
After near on a year and a half there I decided that floating around room to room, Centre to Centre wasn’t for me. I wanted a more stable job – where a could build a better relationship with the children. So I hit Google with “Nanny jobs Perth” with high hopes, thinking Nannies were just an American thing and that I needed to stop watching so much TV. Low and behold – there’s a whole website dedicated to this, a few in fact! After a horrendous interview fail at the first Nanny job I went for (we will blame NavMan and ‘first job interview in 6 years’ jitters for that one) I managed to pull myself together and nail my second job interview scoring myself (what turned out to be) my dream job with K & P and their 6 month old twin girls. I will admit, I was hoping to score a Nanny job with girls. I had grown quite fond of the braiding and was hoping to be able to keep it up. Twin girls = Winning. The fact they had hardly any hair = not so much, haha. It did take the girls 2 years to actually grow any hair that was long enough to braid…. and then another 6 months (of maybe a bit of TV bribery) before they’d let me touch it. But I tell ya, all that waiting (and watching Thomas the Tank Engine and In the Night Garden) were so worth it, because my skills drastically increased in the next 5 years.
Moving on to about 2 or 3 years ago… My cousin Nat, who had visited me and the girls on a few occasions, knew I could braid and send me a photo of a girl with 3 cornrow style braids on the side. Our conversation went a little bit like this:
Nat- “Can you do this?”
Me- “Yeah probably, why?”
Nat- “Because I want it in my hair on Saturday night”
Me- “What for?”
Nat- “I’m going out”
Me- “To a dress up party???”
Nat- “Nah, to Ambar”
Me- “…. You do realize you’re a skinny little white girl, right”
Nat- “Yeah It’ll look dardy”
I will admit, straight up, I wasn’t too keen on the cornrow style. But Nat loved it and I wasn’t half bad at doing it, so it became a regular thing. Nat would come over most weekends, bring chocolate and we’d sit there for an hour or so singing along to 90s songs Nat would find YouTube while I braided her hair. Then she would go out and party while my husband, Blake, and I would sit on the couch and watch TV and eat chocolate. It was a pretty sweet deal. It also didn’t take too long before I stared loving the cornrows and it became on of my favourite styles – still is.
This went on for about a year or so, the whole time Natalie saying “You’re so good! You should start a business!” My honest to God reply was “Nah, who would pay for braids?” Oh how I wish I wasn’t on the laptop right now and I could insert a million crying laughing emojis…. Cue my good friend, Cheyenne, around this point – who also loved getting me to braid her hair – with this conversation:
Chey- “You really should start a business”
Me- “Yeah Nat tells me that all the time, but honestly, where would I even start?”
Chey- “You should make an Instagram account!”
Me- “Nooooooo, I don’t understand Instagram…. It’s too confusing and those hastags are sooo stupid”
(insert another million laughing emojis #soaddictedtoinstanow #hashtagsarethebest)
After Cheyenne trying to convince me how great Instagram is and how easy it is to use, even giving me a quick tutorial on it all, I just said “I’ll think about it” (but I actually had no intention of doing that confusing Instagram thing whatsoever…)
Later that night I was babysitting a little boy, who went to bed quite quickly and easily. I tidied up the house, did some dishes, used all my lives on Candy Crush, caught up on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of HERE! and then got bored…. So i thought “May as well try this Instagram thing…”
First thing was first. If I was going to do this, I needed a good name. So I text Blake, Cheyenne and Nat asking for ideas:
Nat- “BRAIDY LADY!”
Me- (another time emojis would come in handy) “Yeah, nah”
Cheyenne- “Bec’s Braids”
Blake- (I hope you’re ready for this, cause I married a comedian)
If you were a red headed man… The Gingerbraid Man.
bRAiDs – they’re RAD.
(Yes I scrolled back through months of messages to find them #Worthit)
A few more names were thrown around like “Lady Braid” (which I likes, cause I thought it made me sound quite regal) and “Braids By Bec” but it got to the point where I nearly went with “Braidy Lady”… Who knows, could have led to a sit com? When Blake dropped the mother of all names (or should I say mother of dragons…)
Game of Braids
and that was it. No coming back from that one, I was sold. Much to Nat’s disappointment (doesn’t stop her calling me “Braidy Lady” all the time though).
So up goes this Instagram account with some pretty average photos of the kids, a few pics of Cheyenne and a million pics of Natalie.
Week 1: I have 100 followers. That’s pretty cool, mostly my friends but whatever.
Week 2: I have 200 followers. Cool, it’d be cool if by 3 weeks I have 300 followers…
Week 3: 500 followers. Whoa!!!!! Ok….
2 days later: 1000 followers. Holy $&@%! What is this Instagram thing? What is happening? Who are all these people?!?
… and that’s all I remember about that. I would also like to say I’m pretty sure I had 10,000 followers before I even knew what I was doing with Instagram…
It’s been almost a year since I started Game of Braids and I’m currently sitting on 26,500 followers and might call myself an Instagram expert. After all, I do nearly spend most my life on there. Even Candy Crush doesn’t see me that often (ok, that was probably a lie #ihaveaproblem #candycrushwillownyou #imonlevel960 #dontjudgeme). The last year has been insanely crazy, in particular the last 6 months (WooHoo, festival season!) but I am absolutely loving it. I love the braiding, I love how far I’ve come, the new styles I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the people I’ve worked with. It has all, you have all, been absolutely fantastic. I’ll admit I get a bit overwhelmed at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing. X