Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sexy Boo: from music to beauty


Carla Jacobs shows off a brown wig at Sexy Boo.

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Caryl Jacobs, from left, Allison Joseph, Carla Jacobs, Adanna Mitchell and Carol Jacobs stand outside the newly-opened beauty supply store, Sexy Boo. —Photos: Ishmael Salandy

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It's a family affair for Carl and Carol Jacobs who recently launched their new hair and beauty supply store along with their daughter Caryl "Trini" Jacobs. The family has been passionately rooted in music for decades and has now channelled its creativity into opening this business together.

Carl and Carol began their respective careers singing in school and at varous events before becoming session vocalists providing background vocals for a number of calypsonians, including Lord Kitchener. They eventually became singers with the band Shandileer and in the mid 1980s started their own band simply called, Carl and Carol.

That band quickly became one of the premier soca bands in the world, producing hits such as "Bend Down And Rock," "Pressure," "Savage," "We Want To Live," "Fix It Up," "Sweet Man" and "One Life". Before the band was formed, they also had hit singles such as, "Luv Up" and "From Now On".

Near the end of the 1980s, the family migrated to the United States where they continued performing, eventually forming other bands that performed soca and other Caribbean music, managed by Carl Jacobs.

Now back home, Carl, Carol and Caryl are using their knowledge of the music business to get this new venture up and running successfully. While the stage may be a more familiar setting for the family, Caryl Jacobs admits that having the support of people you love and trust makes it easier to plunge into a new venture wholeheartedly. The name of the store comes from the song titled, "Sexy Boo", which Caryl recorded in 2009 with Kevin Lyttle. In the midst of setting up the store she is also gearing up to release her Carnival 2013 offering titled, "Pumpin".

"Pumpin is my first soca song for Carnival. I have another one called 'My Mistake,' however it is a reggae song. I have three huge but different roles in my life that are very important to me. Right now my focus is on being a singer, mom and now business owner," Caryl said.

Sharing the inspiration for what prompted her and her family to open the store, Caryl Jacobs said, "I sang for so many years of my life overseas and anytime I needed some sort of hair extension; it didn't matter what the style was I could get it. When I decided to move here, I found it difficult finding hair extensions in the length and colour that I wanted in here. I realised the variety of hair extensions I was accustomed to in the States was not readily available in Trinidad."

"When we decided to open Sexy Boo, I wanted to do only hair but Dad went to different outlets and was able to get great deals on beauty supplies so he decided to expand it and then my aunt had some lovely jewelry and my dad decided to merge all the ideas into one," Caryl Jacobs said.

Just over nine days in existence, Sexy Boo the family says, represents a new beginning, another chapter in their lives to grow and learn. Located at 2 Madras Street in St James, Sexy Boo carries a wide assortment of wigs and hairpieces. Caryl Jacobs who is in the store almost every day usually spends her time packing the shelves, cleaning and singing.

When the Express visited the establishment recently, Caryl sang a piece of the song "Sexy Boo" which she admits was the "break out" song for her as an artiste.

"During that time my dad had "Trini to d bone" with David Rudder. When we decided to open up the business we felt that Sexy Boo would be a fitting name for the store. We carry weaves, hair for braiding, human and synthetic hair and also clips-ons. We also specialise in a lot of wigs and carry half and whole wigs, short and long. We also have a wide assortment of jewelry, gift sets for men and women as well as a wide range of beauty supplies," Caryl said.

At the moment, you can get hairpieces up to18" long; the longest hair in the store however Caryl admits will be the pieces measuring 26" and even longer which she plans to bring in.

"Not everybody is a plain chick and not everybody would like just black and brown. We would also be offering customers new curly and wavy hairstyles to choose from. Here we believe the customer is always right and if there is something specific you are looking for we can assist in getting it for you," Caryl said.

"I have learnt so much and continue to learn through this whole process. It is a very empowering and liberating feeling having your own business. I have a sense of control over my life. It is great and it is for us; the whole family; the kids and even their kids. It is not just a musical legacy being passed down but an actual business," she added.

Caryl Jacobs noted that as a singer the fame is always there, however being an entrepreneur is very different. Being in the public eye many people would want to interact with you however persons would not just see an entertainer but the businesswoman, she said.