“A Path of Transformation Can Be Likened To That of A Butterfly… Flying Free In The Multi-Verse of Time, A Butterfly Undergoes An Enormous Amount of Transitions, With An Impressive Process of Metamorphosis…”
Born on June 24 during the rise of a Re-volution the world called “Hip-Hop,” Bronx, New York gave birth to an exceptional artist! At the time, Spirit Butterfly’s mother lived on the famous Sedgwick Avenue; blocks from where Hip-Hop began(1)! Spirit’s mother recalls on numerous occasions how her first born would, “wink and blow kisses,” to absolute strangers in the heart of New York City’s streets and busy transit systems… at the tender age of 8 months!
During Spirits’ adolescent years, she traveled extensively. Stationing in the U.S. Army shortly after her birth, Spirit and her young mother moved constantly, and lived in multiply cities while Spirit was growing up: from New York and Virginia, to Washington and Georgia.
While living with her grandparents in Decatur, Georgia, Spirit was enrolled in a private school, where she became active in school plays, and made the honor roll quite often. Her family began to take notice of young Spirit Butterfly’s niche for hair, and immediately bought her dolls to practice on. It was also during this time that Spirit began to take baton twirling classes, as well as professional tap and ballet…
Spirit Butterfly entered her junior year at Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Georgia. Her talents quickly gained her recognition, as her services became in high demand. She began to build a clientele; consisting mostly of her classmates, neighbors, and family members. This quickly grew into a side hustle to earn money, aside from her weekly allowance.
Spirit also utilized this time to excel academically, ranking as the Top 10% of her graduating class, as well as the Top 40 Students. She was an active member of The National Honor Society, Beta Club, and listed in the published Who’s Who Amongst High School Students 2001. She received acknowledgment and awards from Atlanta’s top mentors and national leaders. Spirit attended Open Campus High School in Atlanta, Ga. for one semester, encouraged by her schools’ counselor, and graduated from high school 3 months earlier than her classmates. In the 3 month time frame before her senior graduation, Spirit began work as an assistant and shampoo girl at a local beauty salon in Decatur, Ga.
During her senior year, Spirit became active in the Caribbean Club, and a dancer/baton twirler for her high schools’ Majorette dance team, The Blue Angels. Spirit Butterfly also became a member of Don’t Sleep Dance Team, named after DJ Hurricane’s (International DJ/Hip-Hop Artist/Producer) Don’t Sleep Dance Production(2). His daughter, choreographer of Don’t Sleep Dance Team, Jennifer W., later became a close friend to Spirit. The dance team performed at showcases, roller rinks, the Georgia World Congress Center, and the Midtown Music Festival 2000 in Atlanta, Ga.
In 2001, La-Shanda “Spirit Butterfly” Oates graduated from high school, and in the fall season of this same year, entered Clark Atlanta University as a freshman. She majored in Theater Arts, with a minor in Mass Media Communications. During her freshman’s year Spring Break, Spirit Butterfly appeared as a contestant final on BETs’ Spring Bling: Po’ Olympics 2002(3)! This show was hosted by funnyman, Hits From Tha Streets, in Daytona Beach, Florida.
While enrolled at Clark Atlanta, Spirit became very active in the Theater/Drama Department; she credits her mentor, the late actress Carol Mitchell-Leon, who considered Spirit as “her special project,” an inspiration. Spirit was introduced to Forbes of Thomas/Forbes (two young Clark Atlanta Alumni film directors) through a theater professor, who encouraged her to be featured in music videos they were soon to direct. By her sophomore year of college, Spirit appeared in countless music videos through directors Thomas/Forbes: Field Mob, Slum Village, the late Alabama’s own Mr. Biggs, Q of ESC and Bun B (UGK), to Lil John and The Eastside Boys, Lil’ Scrappy and Trilville; Spirit Butterfly was personally picked by the rap group duo, Ying Yang Twins, to work alongside them, and was featured in their BET’s documentary… How I’m Livin’: Ying Yang Twins 2003.
Spirit Butterfly’s connections through the hair industry landed her features within various hair magazines, including the cover of Hair Extra Magazine 2003, and inside the pages of Sophisticated Black Hair 2003 and 2004. Her image was received internationally, and she credited All-N-One Beauty Salon owners and sisters’ Janice and Venice Roye for creating a look that won Janice the Urban Beauty Stylist of the Year 2003. Spirit Butterfly images also appeared in Silk 2 Product Line Marketing Beauty Campaign, seen on billboards at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in 2009 and 2010.
Spirit Butterfly signed a non-exclusive contract with Premiere Model and Sports Management in 2004, and modeled in her first high-promoted fashion show, Celebrity Fashion Show, months later. She appeared in The 2nd Annual Girls of Summer Fashion Show during that summer. Later that fall in 2004, she worked as a platform model for L’Oreal at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show through Premiere’s Management in Atlanta. Standing at only 5’00 tall, she continued to land work, appearing in local commercials for night clubs and fashion shows.
In 2005, Spirit Butterfly appeared as a hair model in Merabella Publishing’s Beauty Expo 2005, and continued to network and promote her company through social gatherings and high-end functions in Cleveland and Atlanta. By March of 2006, she connected with Jerry King, a well known local television producer, to host Atlanta’s own Star Breakers: Atlanta In Concert(4). In October of 2010, Spirit promoted, produced, and hosted ExtraOrdinary Talent, Music, and Poetry Wednesday in the heart of Atlanta.
At this premiere event, Spirit Butterfly provided local artists with a platform to showcase their talents, and at the same time, she displayed her creative hair and make-up artistry on established and fresh face models. This is the same year that Spirit Butterfly met and collaborated with client-turned-business mentor, Tony W., CEO of Tony Y Not Products. She received guidance from Tony, who assisted with the foundation of creating her own hair, skin, and product line, FARASHA KAA Organic Series.
During the fall of 2010, Spirit Butterfly linked up with Atlanta’s own celebrity hairstylist Corwin Pledger, and became a member of Corwin’s Glam Team. She had the advantage of being the only natural hairstylist at Morehouse/Spelmans’ Homecoming Fashion Show of the same year. Although the glam team was featured on the internationally renowned, Mrs. JJ Fox Show in February of 2011(5), Butterfly left the team that summer, and continued to perform as a choreographed dancer in shows and high-profiled events within Atlanta for the remainder of the year.
Spirit Butterfly teamed up with Atlanta’s-own Aim Studios Musical Center (formerly known as Aim Studios), in the Fall of 2011. In October of this same year, Spirit Butterfly performed at A Taste of Couture Fashion Show in the heart of Atlanta. Spirit also took dance classes from former NFL Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader, Anneka Maquay. During the Spring of 2014, Spirit Butterfly was awarded a certificate from Children of the Most High Private-Accredited Performing Arts School in Atlanta, Ga. for "Dance Instructor of the Year.”
Spirit Butterfly began working at the Madame C.J. Walker Museum and Salon in Atlanta’s historical Martin Luther King Center, January through May of 2015. She learned very valuable information regarding Madame C.J. Walker as a business woman, black hair products, and the history of female black millionaires in the early 1900’s. She teamed with Genesis Hair (Memphis, Tennessee), and Tony Y Not Products to successfully sell-out FARASHA KAA Organic Series at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in February of 2015!
Going against all odds, Spirit founded and produced a 13 Atlanta Suburb-City Health and Beauty Promotional Tour entitled: BLACK IS THE NEW WELLNESS; local black-owned beauty and barber shops were encouraged to network together and share a common bank account to fund community projects.
During the summer of 2015, Spirit collaborated with Naked World of Art Studios and Tony Y Not Products in Atlanta to promote rap battling contests, and un-signed artist music shows. By the end of 2015, Spirit Butterfly collaborated with Weaves R Us Salon located in Norcross, Georgia, as the salon quickly grew to sales representation of FARASHA KAA Organic Series.
The year 2016 produced the appearance in producer Ice Cubes’ Barbershop Three: The Final Cut Movie, as wells as the remade television show, Mac Guyver. Spirit traveled to Hot Springs, Arkansas and South Carolina, where she dug precious crystals that is incorporated in the newly branded FARASHA KAA Organic Series products.
Spirit Butterfly guest hosted Atlanta’s People T.V. Channel 24 television show:
Kim Armstrong’s Atlanta HeartBeats.(6) towards the end of 2016. Spirit Butterfly was featured in New York City's own FASHION GXD Magazine in the August 2017 online issue. She has also worked in some of the biggest movie and television productions: Black Lighting, Star (seasons 1 & 2), The Quad (seasons 1 & 2), SuperFly, The Originals, and Hop and Lenard.
In the Spring of 2018, Cream Magazine featured Spirit as THE Creative, Natural, Hair Artist in Atlanta.
With the anticipation of Spirit's new clothing line: FARASHA KAA APPAREL, re-branded products, and dance studio, we are ecstatically overwhelmed at the greatness this butterfly has in store!
- 1. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedgwick_Avenue
- 2. See DJ Hurricane, Don’t Sleep Productions: Wikipedia.org/DJ Hurricane
- 3. See BET’s Spring Bling 2002: Po’ Olympics 2002
- 4. See Star Breakers: Atlanta In Concert References: www.america2broadcasting.com
- 5. See Mrs. JJ Fox Show: https://www.msjjfoxshow.com
- 6. See Atlanta Peoples T.V. Comcast Channel 24: Producer Kim Armstrong’s Atlanta Heart Beats.