Published on Sunday March 17th, 2019 by Afrocks
Afrocks Amazing Clients – Khisha, Architect, Director of Atelier K: “I loved the concept of Afrocks and recommended it straight away to friends”
We are absolutely delighted to bring this new ‘Afrocks Amazing Clients’ series to you! The concept behind it is very simple: we decided to open our blog to Afrocks’ clients and subscribers who wanted to share their stories and thus give them some exposure. Afrocks is more than just hair: it’s about community and empowerment.
Today we speak with Khisha, architect and director of Atelier K.
If you are an amazing client with a small business, a community initiative etc. get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or register your interest on the following link https://goo.gl/forms/L5HwTJMFWZ6MwMAi2
Can you introduce yourself?
Hi. I’m Khisha, Architect and designer. I currently run my own practice and tutor 1st year students at Oxford Brookes University.
How did you get into design and architecture?
I studied art for my A levels in Barbados and my art teacher and Daddy encouraged me to do architecture as I wanted to do an applied art. I also liked the idea of living in a tree. Designing a treehouse.
(About Gentrification) “As designers we are always working to make things better, that is what we try to do. Improve environments, make them work better for the people living there. However there is more at play than just us as designers and a lot is driven by money and developers.”
What is the most exciting aspect of your craft?
I think the most exciting thing about the craft is seeing it actually come to fruition after all of your hard work.
It can take a long time for projects to get from paper to being built but it is very nice when they are built as you designed it and that the client is really happy, and it has helped them to change their situation. It can be really nice working with the team and the client and seeing their excitement.
You’ve lived in London for quite a while, what do you think of the gentrification of “black neighbourhoods”?
That’s a tough one as an architect…the gentrification of black neighbourhoods. As designers we are always working to make things better, that is what we try to do. Improve environments, make them work better for the people living there. However, there is more at play than just us as designers and a lot is driven by money and developers. I think it is good that spaces are improved and made better. But on the other hand, it is also sad when people are pushed out of their areas due to higher costs. Regarding the feel of spaces and community, it could be up to us as citizens of a space to make it our own, to take care of them and to be involved in the process. As designers and developers, we have to make sure that people are involved in this process as well. And listened to.
“My advice for first time buyers would be save save save as much as you can! Stop buying your prey coffee and bottled water. Carry your lunch to work. Small things I know but every little bit helps. And really what I mean is learn to have a culture of saving.”
So those who buy are part of the problem, right?
I live in an area that has been gentrified and so am also part of the problem as I love the area because it is diverse and has all of the foods I need from home.
But by buying there am I part of the problem?…(sigh) Perhaps, as I am from outside. Thing is, the more people move in the more desirable the area becomes. Of course the more expensive it gets… It’s a tough one to be honest…
Would you therefore have any advice for first-time black homebuyers?
My advice for first-time buyers would be: save save save as much as you can! Stop buying your prey coffee and bottled water. Carry your lunch to work. Small things I know but every little bit helps. And really what I mean is learn to have a culture of saving.
What else should we be looking at when we want to buy?
You have to look at as many properties as possible so you understand what is out there, what really are your priorities and what you can afford. And also, look at the potential of a space rather than what it looks like now. Consider how you can creatively change and adapt a space to suit you. Don’t feel like you have to furnish it straight away. There will be bills as soon as you move in weirdly. So many things you have to budget for. Do you need a bed straight away? A sofa, dinner table? I don’t think so. Live in the space a bit, get to know it and furnish it slowly over time. Also, don’t just take all the furniture and stuff that people give you. Because you will have it forever! I slept on the floor in my sleeping bag for a while until I got the bed I really wanted. It was cosy. My old boss gave me a sofa which was great. It took 8 years until I bought the sofa I really wanted!!
Can you give us some feedback about your Afrocks experience?
I booked prior to a business trip in Berlin and my stylist was really amazing! She was fast and I was very happy with the result. I loved the concept of Afrocks and recommended it straight away to friends. I like the idea that someone comes straight to you and you don’t have to spend hours in a salon.
More info about Khisha:
- Afro Hair Business Interview – Hazel, Founder of Sanctus Hair & Salon Owner: “In the black community, hairdressers are looked down on. They’re seen as uneducated or dropouts […]”
- Afrocks Interview – Kay Davis, Artist & Braider: “Transitioning from chemically relaxed hair to becoming natural is a journey! One that can be extremely liberating and often emotional”
- Afrocks Afro Business Interview – Aasiyah, Founder of The Renatural: “Versatility, ease and protection are the main reasons why black women wear wigs today”