“Product Freak”, The First Black-Owned Magnificence Provide Retailer in Flossmoor Opens

Black hair care is a billion-dollar business. The 2018 Nielsen report that African American girls spent $54 million on magnificence and hair merchandise in 2017. A lot of the magnificence provide comes from Koreans. Korean Individuals run 70% of magnificence provide shops. It’s estimated that 20% of magnificence provide shops are black-owned. Extra black girls are opening magnificence provide shops which are staples within the black neighborhood and have prospects come to a enterprise that’s welcoming with out discriminatory practices corresponding to heavy surveillance and being adopted. Many African American girls patronize black-owned magnificence provide shops to flow into the black greenback locally.

A kind of girls is entrepreneur Kristi Dinkins. In 2021, Dinkins made her dream a actuality by opening Product Freak, a magnificence provide retailer situated in Flossmoor, IL that may be a one-stop-shop for all issues magnificence, together with artificial and human hair bundles, lace entrance and full lace wigs, pure hair care merchandise, hair equipment to fulfill the wants of girls of each background and hair texture. Product Freak is adjoining to different black-owned companies, dubbed the Black Wall Road of Flossmoor.

Chicago Defender: What made you get into the wonder provide business, and what had been the challenges? 

Kristi Dinkins: I labored in company America in underwriting for over 20 years. What made me wish to get into the wonder provide business is I like all issues magnificence, and I wished to open a protected house for purchasers to come back and store. The principle wrestle is getting extra African Individuals within the magnificence provide business.

Chicago Defender:  Korean Individuals dominate and management the wonder provide business. Has it been problematic so far as distribution?

KD: The Korean Individuals positively management the business. I heard it’s simpler now for the reason that racial injustices that occurred on the top of the pandemic that extra African Individuals are supporting black companies. There are nonetheless main gamers within the magnificence business that refuse to work with us. In the event that they do determine to work with us and allow us to open an account, they’re at all times out of inventory after we wish to buy well-liked merchandise. The business will not be completely satisfied that African Individuals are opening magnificence provide shops.

Chicago Defender:  Why is it vital to help black magnificence provide companies?

KD: The principle factor is circulating the black greenback. My counterparts usually are not spending cash within the black neighborhood. They’re taking their cash and procuring of their neighborhood. Supporting black companies strengthens success and creates job alternatives. I reside in a black neighborhood. I get my gasoline and go grocery procuring at black-owned companies. It’s crucial to help black companies.

Chicago Defender: I’m certain you skilled going to a magnificence provide retailer owned by non-black homeowners and being watched and adopted. How did that make you’re feeling?

KD: It made me really feel devalued. They don’t worth us as individuals and prospects. I had stopped going to magnificence provide shops and began ordering my merchandise on-line. I’ve supported black-owned magnificence provide shops up to now. I opened a magnificence provide retailer as a result of I didn’t like how black girls had been handled.

Chicago Defender:  What adjustments would you wish to see within the magnificence business?

KD: I want to see black individuals in all features of the wonder business. We want extra black distributors.

Chicago Defender: What recommendation would you give to somebody that wishes to get into the wonder business? 

KD: The very best recommendation is to be sure you do your analysis within the magnificence business, increase sufficient capital, and have an excellent help system.

Product Freak is situated at 3321 Vollmer Rd, Flossmoor, IL.  For alerts on new magnificence merchandise, comply with Product Freak on social media @productfreakbeauty.


Tammy Gibson is an writer, re-enactor, and black historical past traveler. Discover her on social media @sankofatravelher.

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