Willie Dearing was tired of the beauty supply store options in the area. For years, she noticed that the personable touch that she and other Black women wanted when shopping for wigs and hair products was simply not there.
“They have everything you would want to look for in a beauty supply store, but they have no personal understanding of what they’re selling,” Dearing said. “The people who own the hair stores or sell wigs to Black women, they have cosmetics and things that women wear, but they’re all men.”
So she began to talk with family and friends about whether they would support a business owned and operated by a Black woman and said she got an overwhelmingly positive response. As a woman in her early 60s, she said she has already had a career and is currently attending Indiana University South Bend and taking poetry classes. But this seemed to be a new adventure and one she increasingly fell in love with.
“The thought just overwhelmed me and kept coming to me that ‘you need to open a beauty supply store,’” she said.
Dearing will host a grand opening for Beauty Hive Beauty Supply at 217 S. Michigan St. in downtown South Bend this Saturday. Her store, complete with a variety of wigs and hair products, will be in the same building as The Pigeon and The Hen Pottery, but will be located on the second floor of the building. Customers will have to navigate through hallways and upstairs to find the modest retail rooms, and Dearing admits it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but she has signs directing traffic.
“Hopefully, I’ll be here a year or two and then I can get my own storefront,” she said.
Inside one room are neatly stacked and organized hair products, such as moisturizing shampoos, conditioner, braiding gels and hairspray. Next door are a variety of wigs that vary in color, texture, length and styling.
To make sure customers get the right wig and right experience, Dearing said, she starts by asking them what they are looking for in a wig and how they like to style their hair. The more descriptive, the better. Dearing said she’ll be able to accommodate a variety of options varying from traditional style to lace front wigs with prices ranging from about $20 to $60.
“I’m only going to have the best ones,” she said.
Dearing said she will also help customers by teaching them how to care for their wigs and will install and shape if need be. With a vanity furniture piece located in her office, Dearing said, she can provide the full service of cutting it, shaping it and “getting them ready.”
Beauty Hive Beauty Supply will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Have you heard?
West Side Wednesday will have its first in-person event from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at Taqueria Chicago, 2920 W. Western Ave. The networking event is casual, so reservations are not required and there is no agenda. … BGB Designs Boutique opened a brick and mortar store in the Heritage Square Shopping Center last month. The boutique offers women’s clothing, jewelry and other accessories. Customers can also shop online at bethsglambag.com. … New seafood boil restaurant Tera’s Tasty House of Krabz has opened at 209 S. Michigan St. in downtown South Bend. The restaurant offers crab boils with shrimp, sausage, potatoes, egg and corn, as well as shrimp, grits and pasta. It is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.