Rolling Out

The Black Hair Experience is the new beauty space for women

The Black Hair Experience is the new beauty space for women
(L to R) Elizabeth Austin-Davis and Alisha Brooks (Photo courtesy of Mariah Oates)

In an era when Black women embrace a variety of hairstyles and express themselves through their crowning glory, two friends who started with just an idea and a dream have created an interactive exhibit that focuses on the Black hair experience. From interactive photo booths and beauty supply store vibes, Alisha Brooks and Elizabeth Austin-Davis have created a world, The Black Hair Experience, dedicated to celebrating Black hair culture.

As of May 2021, The Black Hair Experience has expanded from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. The 20,000 square foot exhibit has been a beacon of light to women as they enter a space that celebrates their traditions when it comes to Black hair. The creators of the modern-day Black beauty playground spoke about their journey as business partners, the importance of spreading joy and more.

How did you determine your career path?

Alisha Brooks: As we are both creatives, we honestly think these paths were chosen for us. I am a graphic designer and Elizabeth is an amazing photographer. We are both visual artists in our own right and love what we do.

Describe the skills that will be essential to future entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators.

AB: Perseverance is a skill that is essential to every entrepreneur. There will always be a door closed in your face or a gatekeeper that will tell you “No.” The key is to continue to push forward towards your goals.

Describe how you set goals and evaluate your success.
Elizabeth Austin-Davis: Our goals for TBHE are really based on our mission. We want to spread joy and reach as many people as possible. We focus on new and innovative ways to create visual experiences that celebrate our culture. The pandemic forced us to shift our initial targets, but we have seen growth in ways we could not have imagined.

Why is lifelong learning important to you?
AB: Lifelong learning is important because it’s how you continue to elevate yourself. You have to constantly be a student in your industry because industries are always changing.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
EAD: Our favorite vacation spot is definitely anywhere with a beach and clear water. There is just something about sand and water that just makes you feel at peace. When we are on vacation, we usually need to unplug and gain clarity, so the beach is the perfect place to do that!

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
AB: More love and happiness. We can all use more of that.

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