Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarina Castillo.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
So I really didn’t start to find interest into braiding until about middle school 8th grade. I used to see girls with braids all the time, and I wanted to learn so badly. My mom knew how to plat braid but didn’t know how to cornrow. Me and my sisters used to get our hair braided when we were younger but not that much. So when I did start seeing girls with braids, I was very interested. I started to search YouTube videos all day long of braid tutorials and every chance I got I tried to practice on myself until I got it right. When I got the hang of it I tried to incorporate little braids in my regular everyday hairstyles, and as I got into High School around 10th grade my mom actually suggested that I try adding braiding hair, she volunteered to be my first client. It didn’t take long for me to get it I actually got the hang of it really fast, and after people would see my mom’s hair they would ask if I can do theirs. I was grateful to have so many family and friends especially during high school, that let me practice on them which help me perfect my braids.
Over the years I got better and better and when I got to college, my friends told me I should really make a braiding page so I did. Me as a college student, I was just finding ways to make a little money on the side. After one year of college, I decided to come back home and I got a regular job. I wasn’t really braiding like that anymore just really practicing and doing my mom’s hair every couple of weeks. I would say I didn’t really start taking braids really seriously until I met NeNe. She was already an established braider in La and She would tell me that my braids were really nice and that I should really try it and take it seriously. So I did, made me a booking page and hoped for the best. That was 2018 and now 2022, I’m still going strong. I’m so proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish, I have loyal clients and I continue to gain new clients every day. I’m still learning new things about hair and just the business in general and I’m so excited to see where this will take me in the future.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would say the first couple of months after making my booking page were probably the hardest. I didn’t really get too many clients as I thought I would. I thought people weren’t liking my braids that much, and just me being a new braider I thought people weren’t trusting me as they would a more established license braider. In the beginning, I also had thoughts of do I really want to do this, a lot. One of the biggest obstacles for me though was getting my parents on board. My parents are both from Belize, they are very hardworking and are used to the regular 9-5 working life. Introducing this type of work to them was very difficult. They looked at it like a hobby more than a job and they reiterated many of times that they wanted me to get a real job still. At first, I totally understood because I wasn’t making a lot of money from braiding anyways, but as time went by and I was getting more clients and making more money they finally understood my plan and seen my vision.
As you know, we’re big fans of Braidsbyrina. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Braidsbyrina is my business I started about 4 years ago. I’m mostly a braider I specialize in different types of styles like knotless, box braids, cornrows, braided ponytails, twists and so much more. I’m hoping to get into heat styles very soon. I’m mostly known for my knotless braids, everyone is always telling me they love the neatness and how fast I can braid also. I would say the one thing that sets me apart is that I’m very reasonable and I will always give my clients exactly what they want while also giving them my best every time. The one thing about my business that I’m very proud of is all the positive feedback I get. When I tell my clients that I learned to braid off of YouTube they are so in shock they don’t even believe me most of the time and they applaud me of how great my braids are. I take so much pride in that and it makes me feel very good. My booking page is in my bio @braidsbyrina, any questions you can Dm or text me. I’m open seven days out of the week.
What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is success. I want my business to thrive and become something great. Like I’ve mentioned before my parents are from Belize and me and my four sisters are first generation born in the U.S. I want to make my family proud and show them that I can start a business and it can become very successful. Since I was young I’ve always told them I was going to make us rich and I will do anything to make that a reality. I want to show them that coming here was worth it and give them back everything they gave us just 10x better. They set us up for success the best way they could and I just want to return the favor.
- Knotless Braids: $145-$190
- Straight Back Braids: $75-$95
- 2 Layer with knotless/ Fulani: $160
- Lemonade Braids: $150
- Senegalese Twist: $150
- Website: https://braidsbyrina.square.site/
- Instagram: @braidsbyrina
- Facebook: Braidsbyrina