For about two yrs, Topekan Kelana Boykin has been performing to address a require in the capital town.
As a longtime resident of East Topeka, Boykin seen there weren’t many elegance-offer retailers in the region that catered to the desires of Black females
“In Topeka, we only have one particular place to get Black hair solutions,” Boykin reported. “I required to give them an additional option.”
So in 2019, she stood up Ms. Key’s Natural beauty Supplies as an on the internet-only shop.
It seemed to be a hit, and during the coronavirus pandemic, Boykin expanded her services to present porch pickups.
“The have to have for me when I started out porch pickup was too much to handle,” Boykin said. “From there, I explained, ‘Let’s give them someplace to go.'”
Earlier this year, Boykin developed Ms. Key’s even even further, opening a brick-and-mortar area at 400 S.E. Lake St.
“We have been growing each month since,” Boykin explained.
And her entrepreneurial vision is just not complete still, as she hopes to make Ms. Key’s Splendor Provides a a single-quit shop for Topekans’ grooming requires.
For those curious about the store’s title, Boykin said she went with “Ms. Key’s” mainly because “that is what Topeka knows me by.”
“My title is not 1 of individuals effortless ones that flies off the tongue,” she mentioned, “so ‘Key’ is what everyone remembers.”
Setting up from scratch
Boykin said her four sons — who array in age from 10 to 23 — aided her get the retail outlet arranged in advance its April opening day.
“Me and my 4 sons invested hours in in this article, placing the factors on the walls and receiving set up and ready to go,” she explained.
And they also enable her operate the retail store on a daily basis, as she works whole time as a nurse for the Topeka VA Healthcare Heart.
“If it wasn’t for my sons, I probably wouldn’t be equipped to do it,” she mentioned.
Part of the motive Boykin wished to get started a company in the very first place was so her sons would be encouraged to stick to their goals.
“I want them to know that if you have a vision, you can achieve it,” she stated.
When it will come to her have eyesight, Boykin carries on to enhance Ms. Key’s choices and inventory.
“We have human hair that is ordinarily used for sew-ins or ponytails. Then, we have our lovely wig wall,” she said. “This is my bestseller ideal now, the wig wall.”
Ms. Key’s also carries make-up items, human body lotions and soaps, hair care formulation, styling applications, a kid’s line and far more.
“I am a purely natural natural beauty supply keep, so you will not locate perms and chemical-based mostly products and solutions in in this article,” Boykin claimed. “I imagine in natural hair care.”
However, she is open up to ordering the merchandise her buyers want, and she expands her inventory month-to-month.
“I have sellers that have been hitting me up and trying to get in here,” Boykin explained. “To start from scratch, I failed to feel, to be straightforward, that we would be as comprehensive as we are suitable now.”
Bringing mild to ‘the east side’
Boykin estimates she has invested shut to $15,000 in her business enterprise so considerably.
“I’m blessed that the building’s mine so that helps make a huge variation,” she stated.
Boykin bought the creating in which Ms. Key’s is found about six yrs back.
50 % of the building — a dazzling-blue structure that was after property to a fish market — is now dwelling to the beauty-provide retailer, whilst the other fifty percent is becoming renovated to property a barber shop, which ties into Boykin’s broader eyesight for the enterprise. The barber-shop side of the shop will also offer these solutions as hair braiding.
“That is the approach of action — to develop and have a a person-end spot,” she stated.
Though she will not however have a company opening day for the salon side of Ms. Key’s, Boykin reported renovations are underway.
“As a mom, you have to do every little thing in pleasant strides,” she claimed.
And as Boykin expands her organization, she hopes to deliver more everyday living to an spot she has referred to as home since she was a kid.
“I am hoping it’ll provide some mild to an place that’s not all that negative,” Boykin stated. “Everything’s doable out right here. I see the attractiveness of the east side.”