“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.”
Today marks our 200th post! Over the past two years and three months, we have enjoyed sharing post about life, arts, inspiration and real-life people. What better way to celebrate our special day than to show support for someone else’s dream.
Southern Laced is pleased to spotlight a small minority business. That business is none other than Quan’s Beauty Boutique, which is the only black owned beauty supply store in my hometown… Brandon, Mississippi.
The 31-year old owner, LaQuanda Sims, is also from Brandon. In addition to being an entrepreneur, she is a hardworking single mom of two adorable kids and a high school teacher at Provine in Jackson, Mississippi. Recently, she partnered with Dr. Tangelia Kelly of Rodan+Fields to begin another business venture.
Here’s what LaQuanda had to say about Quan’s Beauty Boutique:
Q: What were you doing before you opened Quan’s Beauty Boutique?
A: I was teaching full-time in Canton, Mississippi. One day, I decided that working for someone else wasn’t the life I wanted to live for the rest of my life.
Q: How long has Quan’s Beauty Boutique been open?
A: It’s been open for a year and a month and a half. A little over a year…
Q: It’s a known fact that Koreans dominate when it comes to beauty supply store ownership. What made you want to get into the business?
A: That’s what made me want to. My mom, sister and I were always natural. When we would go to (beauty supply) stores, I never saw black people own the stores. That’s when I realized I wanted to open my own store. I wanted to be able to serve my community and show them that it’s possible to have a store. I wanted to see someone like me owning the store because we are the ones who frequent them the most.
Q: Have you had any major accomplishments since you’ve been open?
A: It’s been such a struggle to stay open. Lately, it seems like more people are becoming aware that I am even here, which is a good thing. In the beginning, the exposure just wasn’t there. But, I would say that my biggest accomplishment would be that I made it over a year.
Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned about running your own business?
A: I’ve learned that being nice does not always get you the results you want. It is a very selfish world when it comes to business.
There is definitely discrimination in the hair store business as far as trying to get distributors. Most companies are run by Asians and Chinese. I’ll just be real… My name is LaQuanda. So, my name with my accent makes it harder working with distributors. I’ve even been charged a different price than other stores and we’re all ordering from the same distributors.
Q: What advice would you give someone that would like to open a beauty boutique?
A: Start saving as much money as you can because you don’t want to take out loans. You’ll need a substantial amount of money just to place an order through distributors. Before you place those orders, hire an intern that’s Asian or Chinese to be a liaison for you. Someone that can gain the distributor’s trust.
Lastly, make sure you have a marketing budget.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I am focusing on trying to keep the store afloat and I am working with Rodan+Fields.
Ultimately, my goal is to build an enterprise, partner with others in the community… agencies and work for myself.
Q: How can we support you?
A: Help spread the word! If I don’t have what you’re looking for I can get it for you.