Why I decided to open a Beauty Supply store
My name is Dinee Russell and I am the owner of Melinated House of Beauty, Beauty Supply. In 2019 I decided I wanted to open a store where I was living in York, Pennsylvania. I just moved there and I could not find a Beauty supply store, so I had to commute to Baltimore, MD to shop. I also worked in Baltimore, so I just made an additional stop before I headed back to York. I just thought it was crazy that all the African American people I saw had no where to go! But then I moved back to Baltimore and decided to open Melinated House of Beauty.
I am originally from Philadelphia and I have been in Baltimore for about 20 years, I guess I'm from here now:) Every time I would go to a "hairstore" I always felt rushed, pressured to buy, and not welcome. Of course the employees say hello, but that's pretty much it. I went to a hair store at least twice a week just to see different trends and I honestly just liked browsing. I literally love everything beauty! Although I would frequent my local Beauty Supply store it did not sit well with me that I never saw anyone that looked like me, in the back of my mind I always wanted to change that but with a career as an office manager making a good salary I didn't want to take that leap.
When COVID shut the city down, I was laid off and I was 8 months pregnant. I refused to be exposed in the dental office, therefor I did not return to work. While on my extended maternity leave, I went to work! I looked up all there was needed to know about business, applied for an EIN, registered with the state of Maryland as an LLC and everything else is history.
Opening a store is costly! I will leave that story for another day, but it took me a while to fund my Beauty Supply Store. I purchased items every week until I had enough inventory to launch my online website. Then I added inventory weekly. While doing this I searched for the perfect location for months. It was very hard because I wanted to be in a certain area due to African Americans being unrepresented in a community that I lived in.
I finally found the perfect place while inquiring about another location! the crazy thing is when I walked in, I knew this was my Beauty Supply Store! It was redone and the space was never used, someone else built out the space and did not want it anymore. I saved tons of money on costs to buildout the space because it was already done, that never happens in retail.
Join me as I continue to document my journey, this will not be the last store.