I have no background in hair or retail, have never been a stylist or store owner. However, I do have a business degree and a dream. In 15 years I have watched our area grow from less than 3% African American population, to now over 30%, yet the beauty supply stores are continuing to open in the inner city (some right next door to the other). When we would ask them to open up in our area, they would always say there are no black people out here. One day I was driving down the road and saw a for rent sign, had a vision for my beauty supply store, and here I am. I didn’t pay money for anyone to teach me, I spoke with someone who had previously owned a beauty supply store. He sold it years ago but gave good advice about overstocking, being aware of people always expecting a discount, etc. From there I got online to do further research and find vendors.
For years I have noticed how black women line up to give our money to Asians and have wondered why we don’t have ownership in any of it. In the last years, a couple of black owned stores opened up in our neighboring city. I asked them several times to open up North of the river, but they were not interested. I saw the need, found the opportunity, and it was a no brainer.
My favorite item available is probably the Kima braid hair. It holds the body style and doesn’t tangle easily. Of course wigs are great because you can easily change your hair style, and I like to change styles pretty often.
For anyone looking to break into the hair market, my advice would be “quality over grade” when looking for human hair bundles. I have found 10A hair that won’t last a week, and 7A that will last well over a year. Two years ago there was no such thing as 6A hair, everyone wants to say they have THE BEST virgin human hair so they keep adding numbers. Test the hair, wear it yourself, color it…does it color well? does it maintain the body? does it stay soft or did it dry out after coloring (if properly done by a professional)? does it shed a lot? is it true to length or full of short hairs? No matter what you desire to do… Never give up, let your haters be your motivaters. When they say “you can’t”, let them know you WILL. It’s not easy, but stay focused and keep pushing through, you will never get to your greatness by giving up. Expect the struggle, but finish the race. Network with like minded people and don’t be afraid to share knowledge or seek advice.
5622 Hwy 153 Hixson, TN 37343 / Facebook@ Fros N Mane Beauty Supply / frosnmane.com