Pink Noire Beauty Supply and Cosmetics is getting ready to open its doors in Midtown.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For Chasity Monroe, the idea to open a beauty supply store came to her in grad school. She was taking entrepreneurship classes at Columbia University where she was first posed the question, “What is the need in your community?”
She says she’s been going to beauty supply stores her whole life, but they were lacking something.
“I always felt that, wouldn’t it be great to go to beauty supply that was also luxurious,” said Monroe. “One where people could actually help in different phases of styles that I may be going through.”
Now she’s brought that idea to Memphis. Her store, Pink Noire, will feature a variety of Black-owned beauty and cosmetic products, but also provide a different atmosphere.
“It was something that I thought would be excellent to bring to the community, and really, to make sure that Black women and curly girls in general just had a place where they felt not embarrassed and just felt good about coming, and valued,” said Monroe.
Monroe said in a city that is 70% African-American, you’d expect more Black-owned beauty supply stores, but the process of opening a business like hers isn’t easy.
“Once I started trying to get into this endeavor, it was very difficult,” said Monroe. “Most of the vendors are Asian. Not to mention, especially in Midtown, retail storefront space is expensive. There’s a lot of different barriers. If it were easy, there’d definitely be a lot more of them.”
Monroe attributes her newborn daughter as her driving force throughout the process.
“I have a daughter and she’s five months,” said Monroe. “When I became pregnant, the sense of legacy really creeped up very quickly, and I wanted to be able to do something that I felt my daughter would be proud of as a soon-to-be Black woman. But also, it was just I wanted to be able to leave something for her. I want to show her that, if you have an idea, no matter where you are in life, you can do it.”
Monroe recently moved back to Memphis from New York. She says she is excited to bring this unique experience to her hometown and fill the void of Black-owned beauty supply stores.
“I just want to be that space that is safe, where women feel valued,” said Monroe. “It’s definitely been a journey, but I’m really glad that I did it, and I think, ultimately, it’s going to do a great service for the community and for Memphis.”
Pink Noire Beauty Supply and Cosmetics officially opens on Saturday, March 26. The store, located at City Center Shopping Plaza in Midtown, will also have a grand opening soiree Saturday night.