The beauty supply industry generates $10 billion a year in sales, 85% of the products are marketed towards Black women, and only a small fraction of the beauty supply stores are owned by Black entrepreneurs. In an industry that generates such revenue, two Black entrepreneurs in Brownsville, Brooklyn (NYC), are looking to stake a claim to part of that multi-billion dollar industry.
The owners of the first Black-owned beauty supply store in Brownsville are Jeffrey and Sade. The two partners did not know each other until they were introduced through the Brownsville Partnership, a program offered by the nonprofit Community Solutions, which is vested in local economic development through entrepreneurship. Even though the duo faced an uphill climb in opening their business, they have since brought Jeffrey Beauty Supply to fruition.
Situated in the heart of Brownsville, Brooklyn, the store is located at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Saint Marks Avenue. While not fully-stocked as you would expect the usual beauty supply store to be, the owners ask customers to be patient as they build their inventory, being that they have just opened.
Jeffrey and Sade are entering a market that has been dominated by Koreans since the 1970s. A great majority of the hair weaves, curl creams, and other beauty products that are geared towards Black women comes from Koreans wholesalers.
Jeffrey said he was inspired to enter the beauty supply industry after watching the 2014 documentary about two sisters who opened the Black Girls Divine Beauty Supply and Salon in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He said, “I researched them and researched the obstacles that they had to go through. And it was all very discouraging. But I decided that this was what I wanted to do.”
While both owners have regular day jobs, Sade gives this inspiring piece of advice: “I think when something is the scariest, that’s when you should do it. So I decided to really push and make it happen. We’re getting there.”
Use this link to find out more about the store.