With the NHM we have seen scores of black owned products creeping up and rarely do I hear of bad service when we buy their products or even return them if we are not satisfied.
Heck, many of them are on the shelves of Target, CVS, and Walgreens so this nasty association should hopefully now dissipate.
Now, I know there are quite a few small businesses with black women selling products to naturals. From hats, to hair tea rinses and shea butters* to t-shirts so with the influx of products come the influx of very different business practices.
The sad part is that one bad seller can sour the whole bunch since social media is king and can ruin your business literally overnight.
Rarely do I see glowing recommendations on FB or Twitter about some small businesses but as soon as a bad one comes around the bad mouthing spreads like wildfire.
Is this just human nature? Maybe, but if we want to jump on this opportunity to take back our buying dollars and keep them in our community then this kind of detrimental behavior has got to stop.
Just as quickly as you are ready to bad mouth an experience you had with a seller, be just that quick to say some kind words about those great experiences you have.
Many of these small businesses catering to natural haired women (several are growing into bigger ones) are black owned and that’s great but a lot of the larger manufacturers are trying to gain back their former customers with natural hair products of their own. Yes, we have more to worry about than just the Korean shop owners getting all of our hard earned money that we just started keeping in our community.
I want to see changes and I feel the NHM is a stepping stool to black owned hair product businesses thriving. The beauty supply store game is another issue that I don’t think the movement can fix by itself.
For one thing many of our products can be found in stores like Target, Whole Foods and while that is convenient and impressive we are still lopsided in the ownership game. Sadly some of these shops may disappear as the bigger shops (like the ones I just mentioned) and online sales outnumber and crush the little guy whether he is Black, Korean or White.
Technology is making sweeping changes in the hair product arena and many would rather buy their beloved product in their favorite store for everything or online. What can we do?
Well, we will see some changes in the next 5 years for sure and what will happen remains to be seen. I’ll be watching and hoping we increase our stake in the Black woman’s hair business in all facets with fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed.
To me there is NOTHING better than seeing our people rise and own businesses, houses, ourselves and our minds. (I know I got deep for a minute.) This is an internal issue just as much as a capitalistic one. Best believe I’m not the only one curious what direction our buying dollars will go and who will reap a very rewarding pool of ownership.
So the question is, do you seek out black owned Beauty Supply Stores or do you just buy from the one that is closest and most convenient?