I am Rumbie Mutsiwa, originally from Zimbabwe, but now I call Australia home. As a pioneer for curl-confidence and with a wealth of knowledge for textured hair types, I have been proud to found the Rumbie & Co salon, Haircare and Academy. I was starting a career in geriatrics when my sister started to face challenges with her hair. I unintentionally decided to pursue a different route. There was an apparent lack of hairdressers who specialise in afro hair. Proof of this was when my sister encountered several salon mishaps that forced me to take matters into my own hands (quite literally). Self-taught in braiding and weaves, the line of family and friends requiring my services soon outgrew my lounge room.
With family support, I decided to cease my career in geriatrics and began an apprenticeship in hairdressing. After renting chairs in multiple renowned salons and with a completed apprenticeship in hand, I developed a loyal client base of those who shared the same need for an expert in wavy, curly and afro hair textures.
In 2014 I finally decided to take the plunge and open my very own salon. That is when Rumbie the entrepreneur was born. This experience has been very successful so far and we’re only starting our story.
On Rumbie & Co
6 years on, Rumbie & Co Hair Salon in Sydney’s Chippendale pays homage to its original industrial beginning, whilst exemplifying minimalist design that transports you to a true state of relaxation. Circular accents scattered throughout soften the sleek interiors, while providing a sanctuary for your curls to be unravelled by wavy, curly and afro specialists. The monochromatic interior provides an easy backdrop for brass accents, which highlight the products on display. Elegant touches of greenery embrace the essence of an inner-city oasis. Rumbie & Co is more than a place of hairdressing, it is one of community, belonging and self- development.
On the product range
Perfect for wavy, curly and afro hair types, the range is free from silicones, sulphates, parabens and drying alcohols. All Rumbie & Co products are designed specifically to cater for wavy, curly and afro hair.
Deep Curl Cleanse: A balancing, cleansing and hydrating shampoo. This formula was curated specially to eliminate dirt and impurities from curly hair.
Leave-In Curl Spray: The Rumbie & Co Leave-in Curl Spray for all curl textures is versatile. Smoothens, hydrates and defrizzes unruly hair.
Light Curl Gel: Rumbie & Co Light Curl Gel designed for Type 2 and Type 3A (aka looser curl textures). Hydrates, nourishes and smoothens curls to reduce frizz and give hold with no crunch.
Strong Curl Gel: Rumbie & Co Strong Curl Gel, designed for Type 3B, 3C and Type 4 curls (aka curly and afro curl textures). Designed to hydrate, nourish and smooth curls to reduce frizz and give hold.
Curl Treatment: A hydrating deep conditioning treatment that penetrates deep into the hair shaft, to moisturise curls for longer.
On The Plugd
The idea has been in the making for about four years, I kept looking for someone to train and take it on but I guess it had to be me. The idea of our community coming up to build our economic independence and wealth ignited me because I know it’s doable.
The vision for the Plugd is to build a platform that will allow the black community to take the reins on our economic growth. It involves: Us as a community discovering the beauty of our heritage; discovering true self and celebrating that - aka Plugd to roots and self. Connecting with the community by supporting each other and making a collective effort to build constructive community relationships. Sharing our learnings, our ideas. Empowering each other based on the collectivism at the core of black culture, building and supporting each other.
Through the online black businesses and initiatives directory, mentorship and live conversations we look to achieve the above so we have a seat at the proverbial table or make our table - either way, we will thrive.
Honestly this is something that I’m learning, I do forget to do self-care however over the past year I’ve been more consistent with taking days off and staying out of the salon. My self-care ranges from just being at home alone, going for a massage, getting my nails or lashes done, or hanging out with my family and friends. I use a facial serum daily that I’ve created myself, and perfume is also a self-care routine I continuously indulge in; I create my own or use some of my favourite brands, including Christian Dior, Oud Ispahan, Byredo and Le Labo.
On my birthdays, I tend to do something that scares me, to conquer a fear - something like shark cage diving, an ice bath, or helicopter rides. In this coming year, I’ll be skydiving.
I love to travel. My parents always travelled so I caught the bug from them. I’m just constantly amazed at how much you can learn from immersing yourself in different communities, cultures, foods. I’ve loved many places but loved Nigeria for the people’s pride in their culture. What I didn’t like so much was eating the kola nut! I still remember contemplating swallowing the nut whole (it’s bitter) without wanting to offend the host's welcoming token every time we went somewhere. Of course I found out at the end of my trip that I could have politely refused to take it without offending!
On beauty rituals
I’m not sure if this would be a beauty ritual but I feel like it is; if I commit to wearing coloured contact lenses, lashes or make up for long periods of time I will wean myself from them so I don’t ever feel uncomfortable with myself or the way I look. For me, these things are for fun and not to cover up; I have to be okay with me at all times. Once I’m comfortable again, then I can take it back up! It may sound weird but it works for me.
Rumbie’s favourite reads
I haven’t been read as much as I would like over the years but a few books come to mind: the Bible, Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, Approval Addiction - Joyce Meyer, Boundaries by Henry Cloud, Key Person of Influence - Daniel Priestly, This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay.
Afrobeats are a whole vibe!
Fave places in the world
Zimbabwe - for its heritage, beauty, safaris, Victoria Falls, and my foundations that prepared me for who I am. Dubai - for the spirit to dare to be the biggest and the best.