Honestly, we still cannot believe we were featured in UPTOWN MAGAZINE! To be in such a prominent black publication, shinning light on our community and hair is a blessing! Check out the read below!
Have you ever walked into an ethnic beauty supply store only to realize the only thing “ethnic” about it was the hair for sale and you? Growing up in East Pasadena, my family had to drive miles to the Black-owned beauty supply store to get the products we so desperately knew would work for our curls and kinks. Not only that, we knew the owners would help us — and I mean really help us.
From my hair type to the latest products that would grow my edges back, these ladies (and men) knew it all. I didn’t know their struggle or what adversity they had to overcome to blossom as one of the best Black-owned beauty supply chains, then. I wasn’t aware of the social strains that molded them into powerhouses, either. Now that I’m an adult, I have so much appreciation for beauty supply chains that, with consistent aggression, aimed to show us that beauty comes in all products, communities, hair types, and shades.
VIP House of Hair & Beauty, for example, reminds me of that beauty supply chain we used to travel miles to patronize when I was a kid. Those child-like emotions revitalized themselves as soon as I walked into VIP, which is located in Lancaster, CA. Owner Rosalin Coleman (below) calls her customers sisters and brothers. She doesn’t quit until you have everything you need. Family-owned, Black-owned, and full of ambition, VIP House of Hair & Beauty has become a staple in the Los Angeles/Antelope Valley community area. We sat down with Coleman to get a better glimpse into her world, her challenges, and her inspiration.
How did you get started in the hair/beauty industry?
Rosalin Coleman: I was selling bundles from my car and at my kitchen table. I would travel to salons in the community and hand out business cards. I began delivering the salons demand products and building relationships with them.
As a woman, did you face any resistance starting your career?
Rosalin Coleman: My family had healthy concerns about my ability to balance both business and family obligations. Separate from that, being a woman has probably opened doors for me in this industry. I’ve always surrounded myself with good people who believe in me and who are encouraging. For me and by God’s grace, building VIP has been smooth. When I encounter problems I usually consult the wise owls in my life to help me think things through before making difficult decisions.
How did VIP Hair come about?
Rosalin Coleman: I was anticipating a layoff at the company I worked for at the time and because of that I began studying for an MBA. In a marketing class the idea came to me to open a beauty supply store, so I began saving any overages from loan and scholarship payouts. With those dollars, I would purchase products and sell them and put all money earned back into the startup.
Rosalin Coleman and customer
How much of you is put into your business?
Rosalin Coleman: One hundred percent of me is put into my business. VIP Beauty Supply has the personality of me written all over it. From the crown on the signage, the art on the walls of the braid studio, the level of service being offered, to the gospel music we play on Sundays, it’s all of me.
VIP is about showing women that it’s OK to feel and look beautiful. We do our best to uplift the community and spread a family-oriented appreciation for everyone [who] steps foot through our doors.
What would you tell your younger self?
Rosalin Coleman: Good question! I would tell my younger self that nothing happens by chance. I am certain that encounters are set for a divine reason and purpose. I’d tell my younger self to always nurture and pursue your passions. When things don’t go the way planned, dig in a little harder and continue with forward momentum. I’d encourage my younger self to set goals and build networks in the field I want to grow in.
What do you look forward to with your business?
Rosalin Coleman: I look forward to waking up each day and serving the community I do business in. I really love my customers. I think we are beautiful people. I love the children, I love watching them run through my store and finding items that look like them. I look forward to putting a smile on that mom’s or grandma’s face when she discovers our location, options, prices, and affordable services. I love spotlighting other local small businesses in my store to help them get started.
How did you manage building an empire and building yourself?
Rosalin Coleman: I still don’t view my business as an empire. I like to remain humble and teachable. I still see myself as the humble chick who sold bundles from her kitchen table and car. I have a strong ability to execute what I am told. I have a large degree of respect and trust of those in my circle. I build responsible and trusting relationships, and I am responsible with vendors and distributors. I stay loyal to those who have helped me along the way. I study my trade because I love it. I’m always looking for what’s cool, new, and cutting edge. I realize that service and options matter and being able to educate and sell those incentives gives us the ability to build strong.
Be sure to follow VIP House of Hair & Beauty on Instagram.
Read more at uptownmagazine.com