Princess Keisha Omilana – #The Working Princess On Never Giving Up on Your Dreams

Princess Keisha Omilana; Photographer: Ondrea Barbe; For Self Magazine

Princess Keisha Omilana has always stood out from the crowd. While walking down a street in her native US, she was spotted by Prince Adekunle Adebayo Omilana from Nigeria. He became her husband and immediately swept her away to a seemingly ‘fairy tale’ life with a ‘happily ever after’ ending. 

But the tale belies years of determination and perseverance on the part of Princess Keisha. At a young age, she set her sights on becoming a top fashion model, designer, public speaker, educator and entrepreneur. With her message of self love and acceptance, Princess Keisha was ahead of the curve in the call for diversity and inclusion in the hair and beauty industry. A natural leader, Princess Keisha reveals in her own words, how she managed to inspire others while pursuing her dream and life passion.

The PANTENE Girl

Pantene Global campaign

I am most known as The Pantene Girl and the first Black model to hold a major hair and beauty campaign with my natural hair. I am a Model, Actor, Public Speaker, Natural and Mixed Race hair influencer. I am a wife to Nigerian royalty and a Mommy of two. Hence my team and I have coined the hashtag #TheWorkingPrincess  on my @keishaomilana Instagram page.

I created A Crown Of Curls in 2017 as a way to give back to the community, create a much needed space for mixed race, natural, curly and tight textured hair. It’s a passion that I know will grow into one of my ultimate goals to create and launch the first and only hair salons for mixed race, curly textured hair all over the world (starting in London).

I’ve been a top fashion model for over 15 years. Fashion, hair, public speaking and mentoring our youth have always been major passions for me. After traveling the world for three years with my husband and two small children we relocated back to London.

Self LOVE equals HAIR love

I immediately saw the need for my message of Self LOVE equals HAIR love when I was constantly stopped on the streets in Chelsea and asked about my hair. Women and Mother’s wanted to speak to me for hours about their hair or their mixed raced children’s hair. Within two months I created A Crown Of Curls.

My work is rooted in self love, Black love, hair love, using the right language when referring to your hair and it’s many textures as well as loving the skin you are in. This message has become my brand. Though I have faced challenges, I believe the fashion and beauty industries are now being forced to get on board with what I have been advocating for fifteen plus years.

A Crown Of Curls workshop with Princess Keisha

I’ve always had high self esteem and always known my worth. I can’t say that my acceptance of myself was reflected in my industry. As a Black model, I am constantly fighting for more diversity in fashion. As a result of the lack of diversity and the politics in fashion, I’ve had an extremely bumpy road in my industry.  Not being able to get signed by an agent; not having a supportive booker once signed to an agency; having to prove my worth only to be labelled contrary to who I truly was. That’s just from modelling!

Creating A Crown Of Curls was much smoother. Though, there were many challenges. The main challenge was trying to grow a business in a foreign country where you only, truly know your family.

My advice for women and anyone reading this is to NEVER GIVE UP! Write out your six month game plan. Write out where you see yourself and your business in one year. Every morning think of what you are grateful for and do one thing that will bring you a step closer to your six month goal. Do one thing every week that gives you utter joy and laughter. Then surround yourself with supportive and positive people. You will get there.

YOU CAN do it!

A Crown Of Curls specialises in educating Mixed race clients on how to properly care for and love their curly, kinky, frizzy curls. I’m most proud of my self love equals hair love motto really resonating in the mixed race community.

There’s no greater joy than having parents hug and thank you saying, “Because of you and your ‘A Crown Of Curls’ workshops, my child LOVES their big curly hair. I’ve never witnessed this type of confidence and self love in her/ him before!”

What sets me apart from any and all natural hair service providers is my story, the history I’ve made in the fashion and hair beauty industry and mainly the fact that I have been a natural hair advocate and educator well before social media and the “natural hair movement” So my knowledge and experience with all types of curly hair is groundbreaking and unmatched. All of my clients leave our workshops and one to one sessions with confidence, self love, hair love, patience and the skills to maintain their curly beautiful hair.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS during Covid 19

To counter the effects of Covid 19 on my business as a fashion model and owner of A Crown Of Curls, we have created virtual workshops which have been very successful. We use all major video platforms such as FaceTime, FB Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype.

I personally am not ready to go to clients’ homes to conduct private one to one Hair Training Coaching Sessions. I’m pleased all of our clients have agreed to virtual workshops. I’m thrilled to say that both my and my daughters fashion shoots have started back again! We both shot a Christmas campaign together for Boden and have shot for ZARA, Milk Magazine, Reign and a Gerber commercial after lockdown was lifted. We are both so grateful and happy to be back on set.

Princess Keisha Omilana and daughter Adediora Isabella Nicole Omilana (DIOR) for Mocha Magazine Photographer: Lol Johnson

Though I’m married and have children, I have absolutely decided to keep working and earning my own living. I would never stop doing what I love and what sets my soul on fire. I always say that I LOVE receiving checks in the mail and in my bank account with my name on them.  It’s important for every woman to always remain a lady and remain independent all the while being madly in love with their dream Prince.

Set your SOUL ON FIRE

The advice I give to all the young women who I meet and mentor is to stay in your lane, never give up and do the work. Trust God that your time will come. Never compare yourself to others, what they are doing or where they are at in their careers. Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people. Always do what sets your soul on fire. The moment you decide to let go and let God in, you will definitely attract your dream life and create and love your very own fairytale.

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