Jenea Robinson opened Marsh + Mane almost three decades ago with the mission of supplying a comfy room for ladies to acquire their pure hair care materials.
She understood the natural beauty provide retailers she generally frequented did not present a welcoming shopping expertise for African-American girls.
“The magnificence provide working experience has not usually been a incredibly optimistic 1 or an affirming house for Black females, so I wished to produce an natural environment that was all of people factors,” Robinson claimed.
“So that was how the vision came into location. I wished Marsh + Mane to be a place where people today could stroll in and learn about items from men and women who truly use them, who are educated about the goods. I didn’t want people to truly feel anxious when they wander in, like they generally do in standard attractiveness provide outlets.”
She stepped down from her placement as director of general public relations at Visit Philadelphia to target on her business venture.
Robinson named her company Marsh + Mane in reference to the time when her loved ones drove by means of a swamp to get to their terrific-grandmother’s house in Longwood, North Carolina, and she fell in really like with her ancestral dwelling.
She’s been operating the hair and life style boutique situated at 4th and South Streets considering that 2018. When the COVID-19 pandemic strike past calendar year and shops ended up pressured to shut because of to government rules, Robinson pivoted to concentration on on line sales.
She experienced to transform retail store hours and make a shift in operations the moment Marsh + Mane reopened in June 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the retailer was regarded for internet hosting workshops and hair treatment tutorials.
“We had to stop performing our in store situations,” Robinson mentioned. “That was a massive component of our brand name.”
The keep is stocked with a curated variety of products and solutions like body washes, candles, facial products and solutions, soaps, shea butters, beard and hair care goods.
Though Marsh + Mane features properly-set up hair care manufacturers, goods from compact, impartial Black distributors also grace retail store shelves.
“I feel it is vital to give them shelf room, even if it’s in compact portions, to aid some of these models get exposure,” mentioned Robinson, who is 36.
She stated several shoppers gravitate towards the more compact models due to the fact they like to check out one thing new.
The shop also attributes a Marsh + Mane branded line of clays, pure overall body butters and oils.
For Robinson, currently being a retailer of elegance materials has arrive with some issues.
“The most complicated element has been trying to educate our persons about the value of shopping for Black and supporting Black corporations within the attractiveness supply industry especially,” she described.
“We speak about it a great deal throughout other industries and it is crucial for anyone, but in this marketplace particularly it’s very vital for our dollars to go toward Black-owned businesses.”
The Howard University alum is also striving to get over the state of mind of persons considering Marsh + Mane is a just a one particular-time destination for acquiring presents.
“This is not a speciality place,” she stated.
I believe that people today appear at it and they occur in and they really feel like this is a 1-time store. I’m just making an attempt to split down this wall with specified individuals in the neighborhood and say this is a spot the place you can appear in and invest in your edge handle each week. You really do not just have to come here when you have to get a gift for another person.”
“On the flip aspect of that is owning persons wander in and just be totally blown away. A couple months ago, a very little lady was in here with her mom and on the way out I read her say, ‘I truly like this location. I want to arrive back again below to shop again’,” Robinson recalled.
“That is generally the most heartwarming because that is I what I want individuals to truly feel. I want folks to stroll in and say ‘this is my magnificence source shop. This is in which I want to shop’.”