Meet April, creator and owner of Lockstar Lifestyle.

Hello! I wish I could say that my dad is from Jamaica and my mom is Cuban & they met while my moms family was on vacation! I wish I was born in Italy and raised there for most years and then came to the states as a military child living in Colorado, then Cali, and finally on the east coast. But, no, I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC to parents born in North and South Carolina. They still live in the house I was brought home to at birth, and they have the same home phone number! I was raised a Jehovah's Witness, going to service at least 3 times a week with extremely traditional values. My parents are one of the most "square/old school" couples around & bless their hearts, they tried really hard to raise another square. As a child, mom, who was briefly a hairstylist, says that I had strong opinions for my hair such as no more than three ponytails. We shopped a lot, not every Saturday or anything scheduled, but shopping is a part of my life fabric. I tagged along with her to boutiques and resale shops and learned how to recognize quality. I pushed those straight lines of the square OUT and rounded those corners to a smooth circle that let me spin through expressing myself with clothing. I have a few memories of days when I took a chance with clothing choices & I won. They worked, I got good attention. That was fuel for my style development and trusting myself and my eye. I don't have any bad memories of getting my hair combed or brushed with my thick, course, overly curly hair. Mom took me to the salon from time to time & I remember riding home from the salon with the windows down after getting my first relaxer. I enjoyed the wind on my face and going through my hair.

I became a mother at 17, the summer before senior year, so while constructing my life I also had a beautiful new life project - my daughter, Ky, to dress up & raise. She is now 20, a Lockstar, and has developed her own unique life: a Junior in college, she is an Honor's student, a published artist, owner of a clothing line that utilizes her art on clothing, and a flight student that recently took her first solo flight. My first job out of high school was at Wachovia. It was a very impressionable time of life and at that time I read the autobiography of Malcolm X. It changed my life and let me know that I was only making Mr. Wachovia's dream come true. I learned that there, I was replaceable. I began to realize that one goal at a job and in life is to be irreplaceable.

 photo: @contemporad

photo: @contemporad

Create some value in yourself so that there are qualities only you have or that you teach others that come from you. I needed to hone in on a skill that I have. Every time I got my hair done, I was never satisfied until I did a,b, & c to it. After, I did those things, I would get a million compliments and set trends. I looked up to my stylist at the time and decided to quit Wachovia and go to cosmetology school. While in school, after a series of events, and reading many books about my history and my culture, I decided to present myself to the world as myself instead of the thing I was with colored contacts, false nails, and a hair weave.  I know that when you make that transition, you are spending time with yourself. You're shedding all of the things that society deems acceptable. You are trusting yourself, your brain, & not hiding or changing, or fighting who you are. This was not common in 1998.