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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Black Women to Gather in Los Angeles For a Conference on Opening Beauty Supply Stores

— This year’s Beauty Supply Entrepreneurship Conference will take place at in Los Angeles, California on March 28-29, 2015 —

Amanda Mickens and Son

Entrepreneur Amanda Mickens and her son getting ready to pen their store.

Los Angeles, CA — The ethnic beauty supply business is a $15 billion business with approximately 13,000 retail outlets across America. According to Beauty Business magazine, the industry has seen a 12% growth during the toughest recession years for retailers between 2007 and 2009. A study conducted by Alberto Culver showed, the beauty customer visits an OTC (over-the-counter) store on average, 22 times per year. These statistics are what contribute to the beauty retail business being such a strong sector.

The business has generated significant wealth for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. However, a documentary produced by Jewish filmmaker, Aron Ranen, revealed that roughly only 3% of the retail outlets are owned by Blacks, though Blacks make up 96% of the customer base. Dawn Sealey, a black Canadian store owner stated, “The collusion also exists in Canada, which prompted me to become an owner too.”

Though there is an increase for natural haired women, beauty supply stores still see massive revenues by serving the natural hair clientele too. Manufacturers have expanded product lines to meet this growing customer base and those purchases are largely being made in stores; stores that are predominantly owned by Asians (and Arabs in the state of Florida).

In recent years, this imbalance has prompted black women to take an interest in becoming owners themselves. Princess Hill and Kelli Williams, Detroit store owners, stated, “We are not quite sure how we got here, but we are willing to be part of the solution to take the industry back.” Sealey, Hill and Williams attended the Beauty Supply Ownership Conference, a conference developed by in 2010 by, Atlanta-based, Beauty Supply Institute, a company who helps aspiring store owners get into the beauty supply business.

Since 2007, the company has opened over 70 stores and generated over $10,000,000 in revenues. Amanda Mickens, an Alabama store owner stated, “My son and I decided to open a store after having put in many years in at Corporate America. I couldn’t have done this without the help of Beauty Supply Institute. There are so many traps that you can’t see until you’re deep in it.”

Its founder, Professor Devin Robinson, a 3-time store owner, opened his first store in 2005 after being threatened by a Korean store owner holding a golf club while Robinson was shopping for supplies for his barber shop and salon. Robinson said, “It was my first time shopping at that store so the owner didn’t know me and I was browsing the aisles for a while seeking out a large amount of items. He didn’t like it. It spooked him. He became suspicious, then volatile and then straight violent. I left in peace but that day developed a plan to start my own.”

Since 2010, many of the conference attendees have gone on to becoming store owners. The conference trains aspiring owners on what to expect in the business and how to avoid the pitfalls that are in place against new owners.

In 2013, the conference took place at the Westin Airport Hotel and this year will take place at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles, CA on March 28-29, 2015. There is a limited amount of seats available.

For registration information, go to www.BeautySupplyConference.com or call 404-551-4398.

Krysia Vernon
Beauty Supply Institute