Philadelphia is now home to the nation’s newest Indique boutique.
The boutique, which officially opened on January 15, features the Indique Virgin Hair Extensions brand of human hair.
Indique co-founder Ericka Dotson said she was spurred to open a boutique in Philadelphia because many of their online clients hail from the city.
“It’s just a great hair town in general. I’ve always admired Philly’s style, and I just think that the salon community is fast forward and they are always setting trends. It’s the perfect place to have a boutique,” said Dotson, who has a background as a hair stylist.
The brightly colored boutique at 1607 South Street offers six collections of Indique hair, which comes in curly, straight and wavy textures.
“When I was styling hair for my clients, I always wished that I could just walk into a boutique and feel and touch the hair,” said Dotson, who is based in New York.
“You’re going to spend $150 to $600 for this hair — so it’s nice if you can actually choose your piece. Each piece is very unique and different, so if you can go in and choose it — really see what you’re purchasing — it’s just so much better. It’s all about filling a void.”
Professional consultants are on hand at the boutique to help clients choose the right type of hair based on their lifestyles.
“It’s important that you are able to maintain the hair once it is installed,” Dotson pointed out.
When Dotson co-founded Indique in 2007, she set out to fill what she viewed as a void in the marketplace.
While seeking a new supplier of high quality hair weave, Dotson met Krishan Jhalani, who operated an Indian human hair export company for many years. He fused his business experience with Dotson’s insight in hair extension application to form Indique.
They started out by marketing the Indique line to salon professionals. Since then, the business partners expanded the line to the general market and starting selling Indique hair online via indiquehair.com.
About four years ago, Dotson opened the first Indique location in New York. Since then Dotson and her business partner have launched boutiques in Boston, New Jersey and New York. Now that they have opened a shop in Philadelphia, they are eyeing Atlanta for their next location. They are on well on their way to fulfill their goal in bringing boutiques to all major cities across the United States.
The Indique hair line is also carried locally at Knights Beauty Supply, which is an authorized retailer.
Indique officials are working on a major product launch for the South African market.
Plans are also in the works to expand the Indique Academy which works with cosmetology schools to provide training to new stylists on hair installation techniques including individual beaded, beaded weft, hot fusion and shrinkable tubing. The academy currently works with cosmetology schools on the East coast, however Indique officials want to expand its reach out west.
Since she started Indique, Dotson noticed that more women are openly discussing their decision to wear hair extensions.
“You find a lot of women actually talking about hair as if it were clothing,” said Dotson, who also serves the director of marketing for Indique.
“It’s a very different time and a lot of women are flaunting the different textures that they are wearing instead of opposed to saying they are not wearing a weave at all.”
As Indique’s director of marketing, Dotson spends her time conferring with editors, doing video and photo shoots for the brand and developing new ways to market the brand.
“There’s always something fresh and new that we are doing. We always try to keep on top of our market,” she says.
While there are myriad extension options within the marketplace, Dotson says the structure of Indique’s hair sets it apart from the competition. While many brands offer synthetic tresses, the Indique brand is manufactured with virgin human hair from India and South East Asia. The hair is manufactured in India and warehoused in the U.S.
“The hair in general will last you a year or more. The cuticle is intact. If you strip away the cuticle, you basically have hair that is very dry,” Dotson said, noting that dry hair will shed and break.
“I’m really happy to be able to provide an exclusive product of this nature. One great thing about Indique is because we have our own factory we are able to control the quality of the hair from start to finish. It’s a really good thing because a lot of companies don’t have that,” Dotson added.