Kristin Farmer has found a way to harness hardship to create a brand focused on careful curation and cultural expression. One of the most pivotal moments of her life, and a defining moment for her future brand, took place among the stark and sterile four walls of a doctor’s office. She left with two distinct diagnoses: bipolar II and borderline personality disorder.

(Curly Contessa/Facebook)

Despite these newly categorized challenges, she kept moving. Over time, she was able to take that dull, disheartening experience and cultivate a colorful, creative world of her own. Among the energy and mixed emotions of these diagnoses, she sought out a therapeutic outlet. It was at this time she discovered her love for illustrating, and it was this practice that would be her way of celebrating her many victories both big and small.

Illustrating would go on to become more than a simple passion for Farmer. In her eyes, the act of illustration was now a safe and healthy outlet used to process her thoughts and feelings. According to Farmer, “It’s my unique way of expressing gratitude to those special people who supported me during tough times – gifting them something that’s not just a present but a representation of them.”

(Curly Contessa/Facebook)

Farmer’s illustrations became the foundation of something bigger—her own brand. She channeled the positive energy associated with illustrating to create a line of home goods and giftware that truly represented her tribe, “brown girls, with brown eyes, and rocking natural hair.”

Farmer’s brand, Curly Contessa, is more than a brand. It is a celebration of culture. The products offered serve a greater purpose. Each piece “reflects a positive self-image, a celebration of Black women, and a capture of our awesomeness.” The product line has everything from drinkware to kitchenware and the iconic Curly Contessa holiday gift wrap. All items are adorned with stunning portraits.

Farmer says it best “We’re all about creating serene surroundings and prideful shopping experiences, especially for our naturalistas – those Black women embracing their unprocessed coily, curly, and kinky hair. So, welcome to Curly Contessa, where every piece tells a story and celebrates the beauty in diversity.”

Shop Curly Contessa here.