Back in the day, before anyone really knew anything about Wakanda and the Black Panther movie franchise, one of the hairstylists on set reached out to Natalie Taylor, founder of the L.A.-based Royal House of Wraps. What did the newly-shorn actresses, including Lupita Nyong’o, need? Head wraps ASAP.
Taylor was happy to oblige. Whether it’s providing the hit TV show Insecure’s cast with head wraps or helping model-entrepreneur Tomiko Fraser Hines for a special event, Taylor sees every client experience as being about empowerment. With past onscreen experience working in over 50 commercials and media spots, Taylor’s business hasn’t needed to formally advertise in the six-plus years she has been in business.
Then Covid happened.
In the early days of the pandemic, the Texas-born and Long Beach, California-raised thirty-something Taylor briefly toyed with the idea of nesting at home with her husband and two kids, who were already homeschooling pre-Covid. But when her older sister, an RN, her sister’s hospital co-workers and countless Royals, (as Taylor calls Royal House of Wraps clients) everywhere from England and the U.S. and elsewhere started frantically messaging her about when she was going to send them cloth masks, she put all thoughts of taking a break aside.
“It took about three days for me to design a mask that I was happy with,” said Taylor, noting she never formally studied clothing design and considered her sewing skills at the time to be basic at most. She didn’t sleep much in those early months of the pandemic. Her husband, mother, and kids and contract employees all pitched in to help make as many masks as possible and ship them out to those in need. It was important for Taylor to provide stylish, comfortable and functional masks, including Mommy and Me masks for kids.
Now that things have normalized a bit on the mask front, Taylor wants to circle back to expanding her head wrap and matching athleisure clothing line. A denim head, Taylor tells The Root the Royal denim line of wraps are honestly sooo comfortable and you should try it out. Really. Taylor loves experimenting with a variety of wraps sourced from cloth originating from countless countries throughout Africa to Asia and beyond.
She estimates 98 percent of orders come from online, although she has pop up stores on occasion. Taylor provides online or in-person consulting video services if any customer is confused about how to put on their wrap or needs guidance when it comes to knowing one’s wrap size.
“I want all of my customers to be satisfied,” Taylor says, adding she doesn’t want any customer to leave a wrap unworn in the closet because they lack confidence or literally are confused about how to put a wrap on. “Once they see how easy it is, it warms my heart.”