Meet the 16-Year-Old Beauty Shop Owner Breaking Barriers in the Haircare Industry
A few months ago, 16-year-old Paris McKenzie went viral – and for a good reason.
The Brooklyn teenager became the youngest owner of a Black beauty supply store in the country. And her initial tweet about her store, Paris Beauty Supplyz, has gained nearly 140 thousand likes – and co-signs from big celebrities like Bella Hadid and Janet Jackson.
The idea, though, started because of a problem. As someone who’s “been through every form of a hair journey possibly,” McKenzie said she grew tired of going into beauty supply stores and either being treated like she wasn’t welcome or greeted by workers who had no knowledge of Black hair care.
“Paris Beauty Supplyz is an inclusive beauty supply store to push beauty, self-love and self-courage,” she said. “I feel like that’s what really sets us apart and what really differentiates us from other beauty supply stores because they say, yes they focus on customer service, but how can you service the customer if you don’t know them?”
The accomplishment of opening her own business at her age is also impressive for another major reason. According to a Business of Fashion report, out of the thousands of Black haircare and cosmetic stores across the U.S., only about 3,000 stores are Black-owned – despite Black consumers accounting for a vast majority of dollars spent.
According to Nielsen, in 2017 alone Black consumers accounted for more than 85 percent of the ethnic hair care market, spending almost $55 million.
The 16-year-old entrepreneur and business owner about breaking boundaries in the haircare industry all while juggling being a high school student. Check out how she does it all and her perspective on life, goals and taking action on your ideas and capitalizing on your skills
Full 30Min Interview w/ Paris McKenzie
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