In 2020, Essence magazine reported that African Americans spend $1.2 trillion each year on personal care products. That number is expected to increase to $1.5 trillion by the end of 2021.
A 2018 Nielsen report further states the power of the Black dollar. The report outlines that Blacks spend nine times more than other groups on ethnic hair and beauty products. Essentially, African Americans spend $1.1 billion annually, which includes $473 million on hair care.
Despite those impressive numbers, a common problem persists: Black patrons must travel to multiple beauty supply stores to find quality products. To that end, a majority of the beauty supply stores exist in Black neighborhoods but are rarely Black-owned.
Charis McWhorter and Dana Hawkins seized the opportunity to close the gap with the opening of Zoet Beauty Supply outside Atlanta. The Black-owned beauty supply store in Mableton, Georgia, offers premium products where Black patrons feel valued.
“The level of customer service is oftentimes compromised,” McWhorter explains. “We wanted to create an environment where people who look like us feel comfortable shopping as they’re spending their money and looking for beauty supply assistance.”
Customers at Zoet Beauty Supply can find assistance with their natural hair care needs as well as general hair care inquiries. Charis and Dana also possess a large network of stylists, barbers and other professionals that they offer to clients.
“We have the expertise, connections and tend to offer a greater level of customer service than what a lot of us have experienced at some of the stores that are not Black-owned,” Hawkins said.
The two business partners have also pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to offer shipping services and virtual consultations for non-local customers.
McWhorter and Hawkins stay on top of the latest beauty trends by marketing on their social media networks. Their social media followers suggest a lot of ideas, which helps to keep their creativity flowing.
Zoet Beauty Supply features more than 4,000 products. Due to high demand, select items are available at the Mableton location, but they also are available for purchase online.
Currently, personal protective equipment is one of the hottest sellers. “Protective equipment is very popular right now, so one of our premium top-selling products is our bubble face shield,” McWhorter said. “It can be purchased online and in-store.”
Hawkins and McWhorter gained their business savvy after working for years at Fortune 500 companies. Once they realized their passion, they easily made their switch from corporate America to entrepreneurship.
While opening their store, the business owners say they have faced obstacles when attempting to purchase products from certain vendors, but they have not let that hinder them. In fact, they will be celebrating two years in business and are planning to an expansion to a second location.
Check out Zoet Beauty Supply at 1025 Veterans Memorial Highway SE, Suite 670, in Mableton, Georgia, or visit their website at zoetbeautysupply.com.