Beauty Hive Beauty Supply opens location in downtown South Bend
This story was originally published May 5, 2021 in the South Bend Tribune.
Willie Dearing was tired of the beauty supply store options in the area. For years, she noticed that the personable touch that she and other Black women wanted when shopping for wigs and hair products was simply not there.
“They have everything you would want to look for in a beauty supply store, but they have no personal understanding of what they’re selling,” Dearing said. “The people who own the hair stores or sell wigs to Black women, they have cosmetics and things that women wear, but they’re all men.”
So she began to talk with family and friends about whether they would support a business owned and operated by a Black woman and said she got an overwhelmingly positive response. As a woman in her early 60s, she said she has already had a career and is currently attending Indiana University South Bend and taking poetry classes. But this seemed to be a new adventure and one she increasingly fell in love with.
“The thought just overwhelmed me and kept coming to me that ‘you need to open a beauty supply store,’” she said.
Dearing will host a grand opening for Beauty Hive Beauty Supply at 217 S. Michigan St. in downtown South Bend this Saturday. Her store, complete with a variety of wigs and hair products, will be in the same building as The Pigeon and The Hen Pottery, but will be located on the second floor of the building. Customers will have to navigate through hallways and upstairs to find the modest retail rooms, and Dearing admits it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but she has signs directing traffic.
“Hopefully, I’ll be here a year or two and then I can get my own storefront,” she said.
Inside one room are neatly stacked and organized hair products, such as moisturizing shampoos, conditioner, braiding gels and hairspray. Next door are a variety of wigs that vary in color, texture, length and styling.
To make sure customers get the right wig and right experience, Dearing said, she starts by asking them what they are looking for in a wig and how they like to style their hair. The more descriptive, the better. Dearing said she’ll be able to accommodate a variety of options varying from traditional style to lace front wigs with prices ranging from about $20 to $60.
“I’m only going to have the best ones,” she said.
Dearing said she will also help customers by teaching them how to care for their wigs and will install and shape if need be. With a vanity furniture piece located in her office, Dearing said, she can provide the full service of cutting it, shaping it and “getting them ready.”
Beauty Hive Beauty Supply will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Have you heard?
West Side Wednesday will have its first in-person event from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at Taqueria Chicago, 2920 W. Western Ave. The networking event is casual, so reservations are not required and there is no agenda. … BGB Designs Boutique opened a brick and mortar store in the Heritage Square Shopping Center last month. The boutique offers women’s clothing, jewelry and other accessories. Customers can also shop online at bethsglambag.com. … New seafood boil restaurant Tera’s Tasty House of Krabz has opened at 209 S. Michigan St. in downtown South Bend. The restaurant offers crab boils with shrimp, sausage, potatoes, egg and corn, as well as shrimp, grits and pasta. It is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Angelique Collins.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Angelique. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always wanted to own my own business, I just never knew what kind. Throughout my childhood I grew up both on the north and west side of Chicago, and when I came home from college we lived west, near where the store is now. I naturally noticed the new strip mall development and would drive by and picture my business there. I thought hard about what the community needed and could benefit from. I was in graduate school and working full time at an elementary school when one day it just hit me!! I told my cousin, “I’m gonna open a beauty supply store.” She looked and me and said, “girl you’re crazy.” But it was exactly what we were missing in the area and although I’d never imagined I would own one, I’ve always been obsessed with the beauty supply store so it kind of made sense. My cousin and I laugh today because after telling her my plan, the very next day it became real. I had about $3,000 saved up and figured I only needed about $7k more, boy was I wrong. I was on a mission, I had tunnel vision and at the end of the tunnel I could clearly see my store. Surprisingly, so many people were discouraging, they said I’d never be able to compete with the Korean/Vietnamese owned stores. Which is ludicrous that an industry which thrives off the African American dollar is monopolized by Asians, but that didn’t stop me! The hardest part actually was securing the location. The property owners and management gave me a really hard time, I think they wanted an already established business. I pleaded that I was from the community and the residents in this area deserved to have a business owned by someone who represented them.
It took a long time but we finally opened for business in September 2014!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
To be honest, where most businesses go through a planning stage, save money, and strategize, I didn’t, I only had a dream, it was all very spontaneous for me, which in a way put me at a disadvantage. In the beginning, it was fun and exciting but almost three years in we have definitely gone and still go through some tough challenges. My family helps me out a lot because I can’t afford to hire help which means that I’m spread very thin and the load can get heavy. However, I’ve been able to stay afloat with no bank loans and little to no help from any financial institutions
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Studio 27 Beauty Supply story. Tell us more about the business.
Studio 27 Beauty Supply is a modern-day beauty boutique and supply store. Whether you are a barber or beautician, or a self-made “beauty-nista”, you can find what you need at Studio 27.
We pride ourselves on being hip and up-to-date on all the new beauty finds. We carry anything from natural hair care products to make-up, hair extensions and wigs to styling tools. Studio 27 also carries exclusive natural hair care products that may only be found online.
It only gets better at Studio 27, as we also offer services!!!! We have a full beauty bar for make-up, lashes, brow waxing and shaping, an in-store hair stylist and barber!
We are known for our full line of LA Girl Cosmetics and our brow services!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know if I believe in luck but I do feel extremely blessed! I believe that persistence, hard work, and being an overall good person is favored my God and eventually pays off.
- Address: 2329 W Madison
Chicago, IL 60612
(inside the Pete’s Mall)
- Phone: 312.631.3427
- Email: [email protected]
- Instagram: @studio27beautysupply
- Facebook: Madison Western and/or Studio 27 Beauty Supply
- Yelp: Studio 27 Beauty Supply
Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.
M&W Beauty Supply
Business operations may be affected due to COVID-19. Please contact the business directly to verify hours.
Most Recent Comments
The black girl was very rude when I came in with ny face shield to buy a wig for my niece's party. I'm trying my BEST to find the number to speak to an Owner since the rude cashier working there wouldn't give it to me. I would've NEVER treated a customer the way she treated me.
Only giving a 1 star because they won't allow their employees to give prices over the phone. Never in my life heard of this so they must be expensive. I'll go across the street where they very happily gave me prices I needed over the phone!!! You all are going to lose customers doing people like that..
Great Place had an amazing time. Really loving the remodel of the store. Great staff and excellent customer service. And very good sales on items
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