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Souls Of Sankofa: An Organic Lifestyle Series | Toni Johnson Says, “These are my little works of art.”


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I purposely focus on unconditional love and compassion while creating these one of a kind pieces. They are my littles works of art. Each piece is like a note in a song that I sing love and light into, so that I may share with the world.

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PSLoveCharli: First, tell us your name and where you’re from/currently living. How long have you been natural? Why did you decide to transition back to your roots?

Toni: My name is Toni Johnson was born in Houston, Texas and now I currently live in Dallas, Texas. I’ve been natural for about 23 years. As a youngster, I thought many times about why I was subjected to the bi-weekly routine of wash, blow dry, then press and curl. I realized that this traumatizing ritual would no longer be a part of my future hair care regime. At that time in my life I was making some big choices and big moves so I decided to cut my “crown and glory” as my grandma Stella would call it. It was the late 80’s when I shaved my head for the first time. I was like so many other little black girls of my generation who were raised to believe that straightening our hair is a more polished look. When in my opinion, it is not the only example of a polished look for me. I recalled watching so many people of color in movies, magazines etc. from my childhood rocking many natural looks. I’m a 70’s baby so actually experiencing that type of outward expression via the attitudes, clothes and hair was empowering for me. As a young woman of color I was now solely responsible for the maintenance of my hair. I wanted to feel what that was like. It’s liberating and freely. I haven’t looked back…

PSLoveCharli: What were some of your challenges when transitioning and post-transition (i.e. discovering products that worked and didn’t)? How did you overcome them without getting frustrated with yourself and the process you were challenged with?

Toni: I have not had much trouble with my journey at all. It’s pretty low maintenance which is what I personally need for my daily regime. Wash & go. When I get bored I shave my head and start over. I try to use natural products and I don’t over wash my hair and I keep my hair moisturized.

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PSLoveCharli: You are the creator of your shop – ReworkCreative where you hand make all of your crystalline accessories and pieces. I absolutely love your work and your organic approach to creating something so pure and beautiful. On your etsy page, you state that your pieces are handmade one of a kind creations… positive thought filled intention embedded in each and every Rework Creation. Can you talk about that and your approach and what all goes into your work?

Toni: Hmm… let me take you back in history. That big move I spoke of earlier took place around the same time of my hair journey. As a young passionately creative woman who was on the pursuit of a professional career music as a singer, I moved to Los Angeles and was a hairstylist on Melrose to pay the bills and all my other time was spent cultivating a music career. It was a wonderful ride through the 90’s. After 10 plus years in LA then a short stay in Atlanta then NYC, I was in need of a break from the music industry so I left NYC to take a short break in Dallas, Texas from the music rat race and then my life took a turn a sort of redirection. My journey toward a new form of creative expression started. Spiritually I was growing and changing as well! Music was becoming a distant memory and my creative energy was in need of an outlet because creatively I was self combusting. Around 2005 I thought about jewelry as something I could create to fulfill the need to be creative. I’ve always been into music, fashion, art and culture as forms creative expression. I’ve always been a trendsetter type and played by my own rules, so I decided to start teaching myself design and create jewelry. It was as simple as stringing beads at first but that didn’t fill the void! So I started to explore and read about Metals such as Copper/brass/ silver, Textures, Quartz, Gemstones, etc. then I dove into every aspect of creating jewelry and rework was born in 2006! By 2009, raw stones were introduced into the mix (couldn’t get enough of them) studying by way of books about metaphysics, lapidary, antique jewelry, etc. I was on a creative high and by 2010 I was digging for quartz in Arkansas and fell in love with it all.

I create in a raw and organic way… it’s an intuitive process. I allow the pieces to develop with a natural fluidity. I don’t overthink my pieces and I’m not afraid to revisit a piece if need be either. My statement of mind when I create is most important. I purposely focus on unconditional love and compassion while creating these one of a kind pieces. They are my littles works of art. Each piece is like a note in a song that I sing love and light into, so that I may share with the world. I am filled with gratitude that I am able to share my gifts with any and all who allow me to. Rework is a beautiful lesson of growth for me and moving back to Texas and living in Dallas has been an extremely transformative time in my life. I guess my break from music happened for a reason.

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PSLoveCharli: What other “natural” changes did you make besides your hair and organic accessories? (eating, yoga, holistics, etc.) If none, do you plan to?

Toni: My lifestyle is for the most part “natural”. I eat a healthy balanced diet which consists of: veggies, fruit, occasional chicken and fish; but I am moving toward a vegan/ raw food regimen and I also use fasting a few times a year as a detox method. I meditate and I also practice a form of yoga called “kundalini” yoga. I love using herb remedies and holistic healing as a regular part of my lifestyle. I use natural essential oils and Ayurvedic therapies as well. 

PSLoveCharli: My favorite word is “evolve” and I like to think of myself as “constantly evolving” – meaning that I’m always growing in all forms of life. Has wearing your hair in its natural state evolved you as a person? And if so, how?

Toni: I feel that wearing my hair in its natural state has allowed me to embrace an external part on my authentic self and be an example of how freeing it is to not allow outside influences to dictate how I choose to wear my hair. I guess my word is “authentic” and I AM just being my “authentic”self.

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PSLoveCharli: Do you understand the phrase “returning to our roots”? What does it mean to you in regards to returning natural? Mainly, what’s the true meaning behind your “return”? If any.

Toni: I think farming and growing my own food resonates with me, when you speak of natural and “go/return” natural. If I could go/return natural I think I would want to truly live off the land in such a way like my grandma and great grandma did back in what they called a simpler time. Knowing that my foods, goods etc are fresh and not processed or manufactured in harmful ways… where community is based on on building a healthy environment for our young and our old in every aspect of living!

PSLoveCharli: We would like to think that more women are rising, growing and becoming QUEENS, as it seemed so in year 2013. Sadly, we still need more of those women. When choosing my features, I must admit, the chosen one must have the qualities of a beautiful soul. So what advice can you give to other women who want to “evolve”, but afraid to wear their hair naturally? And/or transition to an organic lifestyle?

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Toni: I feel the most important advice I can give my fellow sistars is to look inside yourself and once you peel away all the layers metaphorically, look into your minds, eyes, mirror and see the person in the reflection. Once you start to see her and understand her, live as her fearlessly with your whole heart. Live full heartedly!

PSLoveCharli: Thank you so much Toni for your words of wisdom! Where can we find you on social media? Website link? And please give information on how to contact you for consultation on your organic pieces.

Toni: Website: http://www.reworkcreative.com | Tumblr: http://www.reworkcreative.tumblr.com | Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/ReworkCreative | Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/rework71

 Souls of Sankofa is an organic beauty + lifestyle series for the urban souls.
100% all-natural. Real people, real stories. 

Every Monday at noon EST!

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