HYDE PARK — A marketplace that exclusively sells Black-owned beauty products and provides culturally informed service to Black customers will soon debut on the South Side.
The Black Beauty Collective will open its flagship store April 6 at 5305 S. Hyde Park Blvd. Representatives of brands sold through the marketplace will visit the South Side that weekend for a four-day grand opening celebration featuring activities and workshops.
“Everybody around the collective has something positive to get out to the world,” CEO and founder Leslie Roberson said. “As a customer, you’re stepping into something special in real time: Every purchase is aligned with the entrepreneurs who are trying to get it out here.”
Businesses eligible to join the Black Beauty Collective must be at least 51 percent Black-owned. The marketplace will partner with established and emerging brands, said Roberson, a Bronzeville resident.
About 40 brands have already signed on. Six are from the South Side, including a Bridgeport-based beauty line from esthetician and Englewood resident Victoria Prince.
The roster of vendors mostly features Black women, many of whom created products in response to their lived experiences, Roberson said.
“They say, ‘I did this because my mom had cancer and her hair was falling out. My son has eczema and I wanted to create something that wasn’t so harsh on his skin,’” Roberson said. “You hear story after story; it’s the same baseline. They identified a need and created a solution.
“What an amazing experience, as an African-American customer, to walk into a space with all these Black people who created a product with someone’s care in mind.”
Participating brands will receive sales, marketing and other supports to help them grow, Roberson said.
Roberson has high expectations of vendors, she said. They must have a quality product and the labeling,