Black Women’s Impact on Beauty Supply Stores Shifting from Buyers to Business Owners

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2018 Nielsen report illustrated that  African American spent nearly $54 million on ethnic hair and beauty products in 2017. This number is especially significant given the fact that nearly 70 percent of all beauty supply stores are owned by Korean Americans. With the ever-growing natural hair-care movement aligning with the growing number of Black-owned businesses, more communities are seeing a greater number of Black-owned beauty supply stores.

According to the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, 150 Black-owned beauty supply stores opened nationwide in 2017 increasing the total number to 3,000. This number is expected to increase, with less Korean Americans passing on their beauty supply businesses to their children who often pursue other careers.

“As I did research, I realized 99 percent of the revenue that comes into these stores are by black women,” said Temika Morris, owner of Ms.Melanin in Ohio, in an interview with WOSU. “But then I realized the few number of stores that are owned by black women.”

Black Enterprise also attributes factors such as an increased desire from Black women to cater more goods and services to the Black community. Store owners such as Lia Dias (The Girl Cave in Los Angeles), also see it as an opportunity to help other Black women.

“My long-term goal for the business within the next two years is to start a distribution company. I want to distribute to my own stores obviously, but I want to distribute to every beauty supply in the Los Angeles area. I know when I’m able to do, I’ll be able to help other black women get into this business, well back into this business, because black people used to own beauty supplies.”

Kesi Felton

Fellow

Kési Felton is a junior Journalism major from Atlanta, Georgia.She currently serves as the Content Director for Her Campus Howard and the Director of Communications for the Howard University Student Association. In addition to writing her own personal blog, she has written articles for The Hilltop, Walker's Legacy and Pretty Girls Sweat, LLC. Through digital storytelling, Kési hopes to amplify the voices and stories of underrepresented communities, beginning with Black women.

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