Our Story

COILS to LOCS

I’m Dianne Austin, a natural hair blogger and entrepreneur. Four years ago, I decided to stop relaxing my hair and I transitioned to natural.

In 2015, I learned that I had breast cancer and that the strong chemotherapy cocktail prescribed by my doctor would cause me to lose all of my hair, along with eyebrows and lashes…

It was important to me to keep some semblance of normalcy during what was a difficult time in my life. For me, that meant finding a wig that looked like my natural hair. I was given a wig prescription and tried to find an afro textured wig that I could purchase with my health insurance but that was not as easy as it sounds.

Coils To Locs, poised to launch in the fall of 2019, is a medical wig resource for women of color searching for kinky, coily, braided, or locked wig styles at cancer center hospitals, but we will feature non-medical wigs for all women, regardless of your hair type on our website very soon!

 If you have lost your hair for medical reasons, or are faced with alopecia, we feel your pain.

Coils To Locs was started based on my experience and with women just like me in mind.

I’m Dianne Austin, a natural hair blogger and entrepreneur. Four years ago, I decided to stop relaxing my hair and I transitioned to natural.

In 2015, I learned that I had breast cancer and that the strong chemotherapy cocktail prescribed by my doctor would cause me to lose all of my hair, along with eyebrows and lashes…

 It was important to me to keep some semblance of normalcy during what was a difficult time in my life. For me, that meant finding a wig that looked like my natural hair. I was given a wig prescription and tried to find an afro textured wig that I could purchase with my health insurance but that was not as easy as it sounds.

Coils To Locs, poised to launch in 2018, is a medical wig resource for women of color searching for kinky, coily, braided, or locked wig styles, but we will feature wigs for all women, regardless of your hair type.

 If you have lost your hair for medical reasons, or are faced with alopecia, we feel your pain.

Coils To Locs was started based on my experience but with women just like me in mind.

COILS to LOCS

I’m Dianne Austin, a natural hair blogger and entrepreneur. Four years ago, I decided to stop relaxing my hair and I transitioned to natural.

In 2015, I learned that I had breast cancer and that the strong chemotherapy cocktail prescribed by my doctor would cause me to lose all of my hair, along with eyebrows and lashes…

 It was important to me to keep some semblance of normalcy during what was a difficult time in my life. For me, that meant finding a wig that looked like my natural hair. I was given a wig prescription and tried to find an afro textured wig that I could purchase with my health insurance but that was not as easy as it sounds.

Coils To Locs, poised to launch in 2018, is a medical wig resource for women of color searching for kinky, coily, braided, or locked wig styles, but we will feature wigs for all women, regardless of your hair type.

 If you have lost your hair for medical reasons, or are faced with alopecia, we feel your pain.

Coils To Locs was started based on my experience but with women just like me in mind.

Meet the founders

Dianne Austin, CEO and Co-Founder:

Dianne is a cancer survivor and serial entrepreneur with expertise as a natural hair and black culture blogger. Dianne also has expertise in HR including diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and employee management. Education: BS in Mass Communications, Emerson College. Administrative Fellow, Harvard University, The Partnership Leadership Development program Fellow.  Masters in Human Resources Management candidate (on hiatus), Boston University.

Pamela Shaddock, President and Co-Founder:

Pamela is a former administrative professional with Pallotta Teamworks, a privately owned company that produced Avon Breast Cancer Walks and other health related events. Pamela has expertise as a natural hair and black culture blogger. She is also a Los Angeles based actress who works in television, film, and on stage. Education: BFA, Theatre Arts, Adelphi University. Personal Development education includes courses, workshops, and lectures, with such notables as; Jack Canfield, Rev. Michael Beckwith, Lisa Nichols, Marianne Williamson, and Iyanla Vanzant to name a few.

Meet the advisory board

Evelyn Abayaah, Program Director, International Programs and Advisory Services

Evelyn Abayaah, MS HMP, is a Project Director at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, managing mostly the MGH CC/Carebridge Collaboration as well other Cancer Center international projects and Network Development/ Business planning projects. Her previous roles have included Performance Improvement in the Center for Quality and Safety and Operational Efficiency projects in the operating room. Evelyn earned her Master’s of Science in Health Management and Policy and her Bachelors of Science in Health Education at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Evelyn Chairs the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners.

Michael Sandman: Service Corp of Retired Executives

Mike Sandman is the co-chair of SCORE Boston, which provides free small business consulting under the auspices of the US Small Business Administration. He has had two previous careers, one in composites manufacturing and the second on management consulting for firms seeking to understand their competitors and competitive environment. Mike is a member of the finance committee of the Town of Brookline and a past chair of the Brookline Community Foundation.

Ella Turenne: Founder, BlackWomyn Beautiful

Ella Turenne is an artist, changemaker and entrepreneur. She is the founder of BlackWomyn Beautiful, a platform that celebrates the beauty and power of Black Women and girls. Her debut solo show, Love, Locs & Liberation, shares stories about Black Women’s hair and the search for self-acceptance. Ella’s writing has been published in various anthologies including Letters from Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees (nominated for a 2007 NAACP Image Award), Woman’s Work: The Short Stories, and most recently in Turning Teaching Inside Out. She is the editor of a volume of visual art and poetry commemorating the Haitian revolution entitled revolution|revolisyon|révolution 1804-2004: An Artistic Commemoration of the Haitian Revolution. Ella is also a filmmaker whose work has been an official selection of various national film festivals including the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the Montréal International Haitian Film Festival, where her short film woodshed was nominated for Best Short Film. In response to the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ella co-edited a volume of poetry on Haiti called For the Crowns of Your Heads; the funds raised were used to aid a library that was destroyed in Port-au-Prince. Ella has been a trainer for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program for 10 years and was a member of the Blackout Arts Collective where she participated in Lyrics on Lockdown, a national tour where she performed and facilitated workshops educating communities about the prison-industrial complex. Ella has been a Leadership LA Fellow and an Arts for LA ACTIVATE Fellow. For more information, visit www.ellaturenne.com.

Other Links:

blackwomynbeautiful.com

lovelocsliberation.com

John Maudlin: Co-Founder, Fields Corner Business Lab; and Owner, SCALE Consulting

John lives in Boston, where he co-founded Dorchester’s first coworking space, the Fields Corner Business Lab, and launched SCALE Consulting in 2014. SCALE Consulting provides strategic planning, marketing direction, and consulting services for Small Businesses. John attended the University of Florida where he received a degree in Finance and is an officer for a number of startups, serves on a handful of boards around the world and co-produces documentary shorts.

Meet the founders

Dianne Austin, CEO and Co-Founder:

Dianne is a cancer survivor and serial entrepreneur with expertise as a natural hair and black culture blogger. Dianne also has expertise in HR including diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and employee management. Education: BS in Mass Communications, Emerson College. Administrative Fellow, Harvard University, The Partnership Leadership Development program Fellow.  Masters in Human Resources Management candidate (on hiatus), Boston University.

Pamela Shaddock, President and Co-Founder:

Pamela is a former administrative professional with Pallotta Teamworks, a privately owned company that produced Avon Breast Cancer Walks and other health related events. Pamela has expertise as a natural hair and black culture blogger. She is also a Los Angeles based actress who works in television, film, and on stage. Education: BFA, Theatre Arts, Adelphi University. Personal Development education includes courses, workshops, and lectures, with such notables as; Jack Canfield, Rev. Michael Beckwith, Lisa Nichols, Marianne Williamson, and Iyanla Vanzant to name a few.

Meet the advisory board

Evelyn Abayaah, Program Director, International Programs and Advisory Services

Evelyn Abayaah, MS HMP, is a Project Director at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, managing mostly the MGH CC/Carebridge Collaboration as well other Cancer Center international projects and Network Development/ Business planning projects. Her previous roles have included Performance Improvement in the Center for Quality and Safety and Operational Efficiency projects in the operating room. Evelyn earned her Master’s of Science in Health Management and Policy and her Bachelors of Science in Health Education at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Evelyn Chairs the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners.

Michael Sandman: Service Corp of Retired Executives

Mike Sandman is the co-chair of SCORE Boston, which provides free small business consulting under the auspices of the US Small Business Administration. He has had two previous careers, one in composites manufacturing and the second on management consulting for firms seeking to understand their competitors and competitive environment. Mike is a member of the finance committee of the Town of Brookline and a past chair of the Brookline Community Foundation.

Ella Turenne: Founder, BlackWomyn Beautiful

Ella Turenne is an artist, changemaker and entrepreneur. She is the founder of BlackWomyn Beautiful, a platform that celebrates the beauty and power of Black Women and girls. Her debut solo show, Love, Locs & Liberation, shares stories about Black Women’s hair and the search for self-acceptance. Ella’s writing has been published in various anthologies including Letters from Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees (nominated for a 2007 NAACP Image Award), Woman’s Work: The Short Stories, and most recently in Turning Teaching Inside Out. She is the editor of a volume of visual art and poetry commemorating the Haitian revolution entitled revolution|revolisyon|révolution 1804-2004: An Artistic Commemoration of the Haitian Revolution. Ella is also a filmmaker whose work has been an official selection of various national film festivals including the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the Montréal International Haitian Film Festival, where her short film woodshed was nominated for Best Short Film. In response to the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ella co-edited a volume of poetry on Haiti called For the Crowns of Your Heads; the funds raised were used to aid a library that was destroyed in Port-au-Prince. Ella has been a trainer for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program for 10 years and was a member of the Blackout Arts Collective where she participated in Lyrics on Lockdown, a national tour where she performed and facilitated workshops educating communities about the prison-industrial complex. Ella has been a Leadership LA Fellow and an Arts for LA ACTIVATE Fellow. For more information, visit www.ellaturenne.com.

Other Links:

blackwomynbeautiful.com

lovelocsliberation.com

John Maudlin: Co-Founder, Fields Corner Business Lab; and Owner, SCALE Consulting

John lives in Boston, where he co-founded Dorchester’s first coworking space, the Fields Corner Business Lab, and launched SCALE Consulting in 2014. SCALE Consulting provides strategic planning, marketing direction, and consulting services for Small Businesses. John attended the University of Florida where he received a degree in Finance and is an officer for a number of startups, serves on a handful of boards around the world and co-produces documentary shorts.