Meet Nadra Smiley
The Natural Hair Expert and Beauty Entrepreneur
Nadra Smiley, based in Chicago, is a renowned natural hair specialist with an impressive track record as a successful entrepreneur, patent holder, inventor, hairdresser, educator, and advocate. She founded Evolving Textures with a drive to learn more about African American hair culture and the beauty industry. Her innate understanding and expertise in the beauty industry began when she was only 15 years old.
Nadra is responsible for introducing a new set of contemporary styling standards, business best practices, and an ethical duty to mentor newly trained stylists, seasoned stylists, and salon owners. She started to make a name for herself in the industry when she was just 20 years old as a highly sought-after Natural Hair Educator. Her passion for the industry led her to work with major brands such as Johnson Products and Namaste’ (ORS) as a consultant.
Nadra's contributions to empowering the culture of natural hair include breaking legislative boundaries to establish one of Illinois's first licensed natural hair and braiding schools, Amazon Natural Look Academy. She was awarded a United States Patent by The Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office for developing Alli Styles Assistant, an ergonomic hair styling device that aids professionals performing hairstyling operations.
Nadra comes from a family of natural hair pioneers, including her mother, Amazon Smiley, who was a leader in Chicago's natural hair scene in the 1980s with her business establishment, Amazon Braid Sculpture. Nadra continued her family's legacy, launching Evolving Textures products in Whole Foods Market as one of Chicago's first local Whole Body Suppliers.
Nadra and her husband, former Hair Stylist Jerry Martin, prioritize healthy hair and scalp care while providing a safe space to guide customers through their evolving beauty journey. They continue to serve the needs of their community.