Women Of Colour (WOC) have been short changed for a long time when trying to locate cosmetics, hair and beauty products that are formulated for our colouring, hair and skin type. Whilst the position has improved in recent years and the large cosmetic houses are finally to re-address inclusivity, we still cannot find everything under one roof. Mintel and Nielsen studies have documented that African American women spend 9 times more on beauty products than any other ethnic group.
In the UK, Afro Caribbean women spend 6 times more on beauty products than any other ethnic group. Globally, buying power projected in 2015 was a projected $1.1trillion! Although some Boots and Superdrug stores stock a very limited range of cosmetics for the WOC e.g. Sleek Cosmetics or Olive Oil Relaxer, this is an intermittent feature which is appreciated but more effort needs to be made. Our Caucasian counterparts on the other hand can pretty much walk into any Boots or Superdrug for their budget cosmetic needs and EVERY department store for their premium beauty lines.
The current trend for all things natural shows no sign of waning and WOC are embracing their culture and heritage in the knowledge that their natural hair is far from ugly and unruly and dark skinned women can be beautiful in the modern western world. However, skincare, bath/body and hair products specifically formulated for WOC with natural curly and kinky hair are so rare on the high street that entrepreneurial WOC have taken to their kitchens and made their own. Many were also suffering from illnesses, ailments, hair and skin conditions caused by using products containing harsh chemicals, additives and preservatives and made the conscious decision to make their own products using natural ingredients. Many of these women have gone on to form businesses initially selling to family and friends, but it has been noted that the general consumer often has difficulty locating the products as many are only available online (and can get lost in cyberspace) or at natural hair/beauty events. It has also been observed that WOC need to know that brands are not just selling to them but are genuinely interested in who they are
Lorraine James and her @Bar business partners have found a way. They have created a one stop beauty shop for the WOC and form a platform for the entrepreneur by providing a retail location and marketing for their brands. @Bar Beauty Boutique is a store that you can walk into and test the products before buying. We are aware that buying a product that you are not familiar with online can be a very expensive purchase if you cannot return the product for example if the colour match is wrong or you just do not like the smell of a beauty product. Join us at our grand launch party for the new store opening in Zone 2 Willesden High Street @Bar 8 Queens Parade NW2 5HT on Thursday 10th March 2016 from 6pm onwards. @Bar will be introducing the brands which include LOG Cosmetics, Joliette, Premae Skincare and more joining monthly. Visitors will be able to purchase natural handmade and sourced items free from harmful chemical and parabens from some of the UK’s most talented entrepreneurs in an intimate boutique setting, meet the founders.
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