The New Movement of Hair Care
As a child, my father would introduce me to black-owned businesses around town.
I always thought it was inspirational to see black people owning their own stores, hair salons, and restaurants. A couple of years ago I started to view information about the rise of black hair salons. Which caused me to go on a mission to discover black owned beauty supply stores in the Atlanta area.
Little did I know that I would find numerous options. I decided to visit a store called T and S Beauty Supply Store. I was so happy to be able to speak with someone who was not only knowledgeable of the products but who could also give their review of items within the store.
The owner of the store was very friendly which was refreshing! I also met a lady who came from North Carolina just to shop at the store. Hairstyles, extensions and maintainable healthy tresses are very important to black women so to be able to walk into a beauty supply store owned by a black man or woman are genuinely inspiring.
As you may know, the hair industry is a billion dollar industry, and black women can definitely be shouted out as a massive contributor to the success of the industry.
The Past of Beauty Supply Stores
For many years, the hair care industry in the various Black communities has been dominated by Asian business owners and larger corporations like L’Oréal.
Brands such as L’Oréal have had led the pack on the “ethnic” beauty market especially after acquiring numerous well-known brands from Motions to Softsheen-Carson. The natural hair movement has reclaimed its position and brought forth a wave of Black entrepreneurs hungry to get a piece of the Billion dollar industry pie.
“With African Americans purchasing nine times more beauty and grooming products than any other ethnic group, yet owning less than 1% of that market share, it’s only right that there is a major shift in ownership from hair care products to the beauty supply stores notoriously owned by Asians,” stated Official Black Wall Street.
Despite the fact that black people love their local beauty supply store and support it, there has been one grim fact that has eluded the black community for decades. Although black women play a significant part In the hair product world as consumers, most of beauty supply stores in the United States are owned by Koreans who have been at the forefront of ethnic hair care industry for years.
Beginning in the 1970s, Korean immigrants have controlled the beauty supply sector due to their close relationships with hair suppliers and wholesalers based in South Korea.
Although this has been the case for years, the landscape of the hair care business is changing.
Starting Your Own Store
If you are opting to start a brick and mortar, you need to Choose the right space that is affordable and convenient for your target audience.
Make your store easy to shop and be knowledgeable of your products so people feel like they can receive the answers they need
Entering a clean and aesthetically pleasing store is essential when operating a store.
Make sure the shelves and items are set up in an Orderly fashion. Presentation makes the products accessible and convenient which is a must. Your store should be tidy and attractive at all times because you never know who may enter your store.
First impressions are everything. According to Start-Up Nation, stock your beauty supply displays with the latest products to show your customers that you are relevant and current with the newest trends.
The beauty industry needs the old standbys, but it is important to also keep up with the next trend.
2. Making the connection and building relationships
Network and form long-lasting relationships with representatives from big-name beauty product companies and small ones to see if they will provide samples and products at wholesale price to you.
Maintain a set ordering schedule to ensure they will be able to meet demands, and you will keep up with trends and newly released products. Set yourself apart from your competitors.
3. Branding your business
Market and promote your business through outlets such as social media.
You can also Send out local direct mailers to introduce the neighborhood to your store. People will shop locally for their beauty products if they know that your store is in the area. Make connections with Other local businesses and build relationships with shop owners located near your store.
Offer discounts or deals to attract your target audience.
4. Be Seen
Start-Up Nation advises that you should attend trade shows and other relevant events to learn more about trends.
And for an excellent opportunity to network and see what other professionals in the industry are doing. Try out the products that vendors are offering to look at what you might want to add to your shop. You and the staff should try out as many of the products that you are selling as possible.
So that you can give a genuine review of it when asked.
5. Stay in Touch
In order to reach the masses, it’s crucial to create and Build a customer database. Send out regular e-newsletters or flyers with promotions, discounts, and new product. You can create a mailing list and enlist through sites such as MailChimp and Constant Contact.
List of 52 Black Owned Beauty Supply Stores in the United States
Check out this website for an extensive list and locations of black-owned beauty supply stores in your area. Also, take a glance in the comments where people have added to stores that are missing on the list.
Support the Movement
I encourage you to find and visit a black-owned beauty supply store. There is a wealth of knowledge and advise that you can gain if you support these businesses. Feel free to share more stores that may not be on the list! Be a part of the new wave of hair care.