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Black Beauty Collective Will Bring Marketplace For Black-Owned Hair And Beauty Products To Hyde Park

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,

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Logan Square’s Family Thrift Closed ‘Until Further Notice’ After Roof Collapse, Gas Leak

LOGAN SQUARE — A longstanding thrift store on Logan Square’s Milwaukee Avenue is closed indefinitely after its roof collapsed and there was an emergency gas leak in the building.

Family Thrift Store at 2160 N. Milwaukee Ave., a large secondhand store that has called Logan Square home for decades, is “closed until further notice” following the safety issues, according to signs posted to the store and city officials.

One of the building’s roof trusses caved in on or around July 23, city spokesman Michael Puccinelli said. That day, employees also reported a “strong smell of gas,” prompting an emergency response, Puccinelli said.

The city’s Department of Buildings had the gas company turn off the gas and instructed the building’s owner to do “emergency shoring” to avoid demolition and prevent further damage, Puccinelli said.

A city inspector is following up with the owner’s contractor Tuesday to inspect the work and review the structural engineer’s report, he said.

City records show the Milwaukee Avenue building passed all of its recent inspections.

Attempts to reach the owner of Family Thrift and the owner of the building were unsuccessful.

Family Thrift sells used clothing, furniture and home goods out of a massive warehouse.

The store has remained on Milwaukee Avenue for years, even as the neighborhood around it changed. Luxury apartment buildings and businesses like brewery incubator Pilot Project and Beautiful Rind cheese shop have popped up along the stretch in recent years.

Family Thrift has two other city locations at 7000 S. Pulaski Road A and 2527 W. Cermak Road.

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
A sign posted to Family Thrift Store’s window.

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