A Call for Unity and Understanding
The events that unfolded at our Afro hair shop in Peckham, Southeast London, this week have sparked crucial conversations within our community. For those unfamiliar with the incident, a black woman entered the shop seeking a refund on a product she'd purchased but no longer wanted. It's worth noting that the items appeared to have been opened or used. However, their store policy is clear: they do not accept refunds or exchanges. In a turn of events, the woman decided to take matters into her own hands, selecting items in exchange for those she no longer wanted. This led to an altercation at the exit, where the shop owner restrained her and strangled her.
This incident has ignited a firestorm of debate within the black community, serving as a stark reminder of the challenges we face. We contribute over £5 billion to the cosmetics industry annually, more than any other demographic, often purchasing from Asian-owned businesses. Yet, all too often, we encounter mistreatment and disrespect. It raises the question: How can we reclaim our power and ensure our community thrives?
Some suggest that creating our own shops is the answer. While this idea has merit, it's crucial to understand the complexities involved. The reality is that over 97% of black hair products are manufactured in factories and labs owned by Asians, with 92% of products on the market not being black-owned. This creates a dynamic that doesn't favour us, making it challenging for black-owned businesses to secure a consistent supply of stock. It also leads to higher costs and, in turn, higher prices for customers.
Additionally, many black consumers gravitate toward cheaper alternatives, even if it means bypassing black-owned shops. This puts immense pressure on black-owned businesses, leading to their closure and further solidifying Asian domination in the afro cosmetics industry. Ultimately, even black Afro Hair shops are controlled by Asians, as the wholesale distribution and manufacturing of stocked products are also in Asian hands.
AfroHairCandy is Standing For Change
Our journey at AfroHairCandy🍃 has not been without its challenges. We started with a modest £20 budget and have since grown into a brand that has turned over millions. Despite our success, securing loans from banks for expansion projects remains elusive. Our beautiful store in Croydon faces increasing rents and service charges due to Westfield's takeover, despite low foot traffic.
Yet, we persist. We manufacture our own products, sourcing ingredients from our farms in Africa and the Caribbean, ensuring the authenticity and superior quality of our organic, Natural ingredients. This commitment not only produces effective products but also supports our communities back home and we refuse to compromise on quality nor our standards.
We face challenges in expanding our brand, often encountering rejection due to our refusal to include non-black shareholders who might use connections to open doors. We've received responses that cite territorial limitations and aesthetics as reasons for our exclusion.
Despite these hardships, we persevere, driven by our mission to make a difference in your cosmetics choices by offering healthy, effective, and high-quality products. We understand that our products may seem more expensive, but we invite you to consider the value you receive, not just the price you pay. Black businesses are built on love, not exploitation, and our products are crafted to nurture and care for you, unlike others.
In conclusion, supporting black businesses is not just a financial transaction; it's an investment in our community's future. We believe in living with dignity and building stronger communities through mutual support. At AfroHairCandy🍃, we are tirelessly working to regain control over our supply chain, from growing our own ingredients to handcrafting our products, to ensure our money stay within our community.
We look forward to welcoming more of you to our Croydon store. This Saturday, we invite you to join us for a day with canopies, drinks, Free consultations, guidance on hair and skincare, and, most importantly, a chance to connect and say hello.
Together, we can empower change and uplift our community. 💚