Chasity Monroe opened her beauty supply store Pink Noire in the spring of 2022. Her vision of the store has since expanded.
Through an EDGE loan program, Monroe is carving out space in the back to offer esthetician services — waxing, massages, facials, and makeup and lash services.
Pink Noire was approved in August by the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis & Shelby County for a $17,000 Inner City Economic Development (ICED) loan to assist in financing a $25,000 capital investment. The store is located at 152 N. Avalon St. in Midtown.
But, it was her plan all along to create her own hair care line, which she recently launched.
The line, under the Pink Noire brand, includes edge control, a curl cream, a hairstyling foam, a hair growth oil, a shampoo, and a leave-in conditioner.
“Being in this space hearing people voice concerns and the things that they want, we were able to take those insights and then build products,” Monroe said.
Monroe said the edge control is her No. 1 product.
“We have a captive audience,” she said. “We ask them, ‘What are the pain points?’ and what we heard is that, ‘Oh, I like this edge control, but it turns white, or ‘I like this, but it’s oily.’ We’ve heard the gripes, the complaints. Then we thought, ‘What can we do? And, how can we make a formulation that tackles those things?'”
The growth oil came about after Monroe had a baby and experienced hair loss. The shampoo is moisturizing. The conditioner is lighter and helps detangle hair. The curl cream works to define curls.
Originally, Monroe was formulating the products herself. But, she realized that the products weren’t shelf-stable and, in order to scale, she went with an outside party.
Monroe works with six beauty advisors on beta-testing her products. She also listened to her customers, held parties, and conducted surveys.
Monroe originally came up with the idea of opening a beauty supply store during graduate school at Columbia University. She was taking a class in entrepreneurship and presented her idea. The teacher loved it.
Monroe is from Memphis and when the pandemic hit, she and her husband moved back, thinking it would be a couple months at most. But, as the pandemic went on, she decided to make her old class idea a reality.
For now, her focus is on growing the brand.
“We really want to amplify the products,” she said. “Outside of that, we are looking for another location. That is what we’d like to accomplish in 2024. We’d love to franchise in order to [give] opportunities to others in the community.”
This article was originally featured at “bizjournals.com“