With most independent beauty supply stores in the city being owned by Korean Americans, folks in the Germantown area have been excited to shop at a new store owned by two Black women.
The outpouring of support from the community has been “phenomenal,” the women said.
“It’s surreal,” said Atiyya Flournoy, one of the sisters who owns Hafiz Sisters. “It’s a great feeling, especially to hear the people’s comments when they come in.”
The 2,800-square-foot store on Chelten Avenue offers an expansive array of supplies, ranging from hair extensions to make up and hair care products from some of the most popular brands.
“We’re trying to make sure that we have exactly what everybody in the community uses, not just what we like,” said Zainab Hafiz-Moore, the other sister who owns Hafiz Sisters.
“We’re here to help our community and give back.”
Hafiz-Moore, 54, has 35 years of experience as a cosmetologist. Flournoy, 49, has a background as a cosmetologist and a health care contractor.
The sisters are no strangers to the world of entrepreneurship, as their parents were the owners of Hafiz Designers and held leadership roles in the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers (NAFAD).
And they know that the ethnic hair and beauty supply sector continues to thrive. African Americans spent $54 million on ethnic hair and beauty products in 2017 alone, according to a 2018 Nielsen report.
The sisters have been working for the last two and a half years to open their business.
Back in 2017, they participated in a seminar offered by the Atlanta-based Beauty Supply Institute, where they gained insight on establishing a beauty supply business. The BSI, created by Devin Robinson, provides training to current and aspiring African-American beauty supply store owners, managers and employees.
“They have been holding our hand for the last two years,” Hafiz-Moore said, noting the BSI was instrumental in helping them obtain funding, find a location and outfit their new store.
They chose the spot at 59 W. Chelten Ave. because “we knew that this area was a high-trafficked area and we just really wanted to stay in the area where we are from,” Hafiz-Moore said.
The sisters’ husbands also are co-owners of the store, and they and their children often are on site to help out.
The shop opened on Aug. 5, and the sisters are gearing up for a grand opening celebration on Aug. 31.