All good things take time — and that’s especially true when starting a business. It took Lakesha Lymon-Ellerbee three years to open the doors of Kesha Beauty Supply. Located in Douglasville, GA, the beauty supply store opened in the fall of 2021 and serves a local clientele looking to purchase effective hair and beauty products, with a specific focus on Black hair care.
It’s been three years of hard work, but the results have been worth it in order to realize Lakesha’s dream. “The hardest part was getting funding and finding the right location,” she shares. “It was a lot of ups and downs, but we made it. As a small business owner, you need to work towards your business every day, no matter how you feel, even if you feel like it’s not going to happen, that will take you really far.”
The root of the idea
Originally, it was Lakesha’s father who first gave her the idea about owning her own beauty supply store when she was in high school. “All I heard at the time was, you’re going to have to work!” she laughs.
Growing up, Lakesha loved visiting her local beauty supply stores: “They’re a haven for all of the things that make you cuter!” she shares.
However, after years of visiting beauty stores where she didn’t get the service she was looking for — sometimes even receiving openly hostile reactions due to the color of her skin — Lakesha decided it was time to launch her own business. She wanted to provide all of her customers with the high quality care they deserved. “Getting treated like that just wasn’t sitting right with me. It started to pile up over time until I decided to do something about it. I wanted to be part of the change,” she explains.
Lakesha, who has a background in Black hair care, enjoys helping her customers learn more about how to take care of and style their hair. “I love Black hair because we can do so many things with our hair — we can straighten it, get a perm, we can braid it, it can be naturally kinky, the list is endless,” she shares. “Some of the products that we grew up using can cause certain cancers and alopecia is present in our community, so it’s very, very important to me to not only be able to help other Black women and men take care of their hair, but to educate them on certain things that can be harmful, too.”
Beauty shopping can be impulse shopping. You’ll go into a store and forget to get what you came for. Now, you can just go online, DoorDash the product, and get it delivered in 30 minutes. It’s extreme convenience.
A place where you can relax and feel beautiful
Today, visiting Kesha Beauty Supply is a full-sensory experience. As soon as you walk through the doors, you’re greeted by a palette of soothing purple tones — Kesha’s brand colors — and a delicious smell, which is usually something tropical due to the atomizer mists Lakesha keeps running.
It’s a compact, intimate store, but Kesha Beauty Supply has everything you need to look and feel your best: as you stroll through the six aisles and browse the thousands of products, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for. From wigs to braiding hair, shampoo to sleek press-on nails, there’s something here for everyone.
But beyond just offering products, Kesha Beauty Supply provides something even more important: a place to feel at home. “That’s our motto — to make the customer feel at home,” Lakesha shares. As someone who’s worn her hair multiple different ways, Lakesha is familiar with the challenges that her customers face — as well as the solutions. “We make sure to greet everyone who comes in. We give them one-on-one service and provide information on how to take care of their hair,” she explains.
Nowhere is this vision more pronounced than the “Kesha Korner,” a selfie spot that offers beauty affirmations for customers who need a self-confidence boost.
“My favorite part of my business is helping people with their hair,” Lakesha says. “When customers come back and tell me, ‘Wow, that really worked!’ and I see their faces, I know they’re not getting that experience anywhere else. That’s the most fulfilling part for me.”
As a retailer, DoorDash is the mobile convenience you didn’t know you needed.
Delivering beauty to customers
In the summer of 2022, Lakesha launched retail on her website and signed up for DoorDash retail delivery not long after.
“I personally use DoorDash (probably too much!) so I know the convenience that it brings,” Lakesha shares. “I had seen big box stores on the platform, but didn’t know that I could apply to have my business on the platform until someone mentioned it to me.”
After making sure her DoorDash page matched what she had in stock, Lakesha was up and running. Though Kesha Beauty Supply is still relatively new to DoorDash, the initial response has been promising. After launching in late September, she’s already seen an increase in delivery sales, and her delivery orders tend to be bigger. “Almost all of my orders have three items or more,” she shares. As the holidays approach, she’s expecting to see even more growth in her beauty delivery sales.
Finding a competitive advantage with retail delivery
For Lakesha, the biggest benefit of a retail delivery partner is the convenience. Not only for her customers, who enjoy getting their favorite beauty products delivered to their doorstep, but also for Lakesha as a business owner. Instead of worrying about getting orders to customers, she can focus on packing up items for Dashers and taking care of the in-store customers who want hair advice.
This way, she’s able to focus on what sets her business apart and encourages customers to come back. “Anytime I get a chance to provide something that other businesses around me don’t have, like delivery on DoorDash, that is always a good thing,” she sums it up. “As long as you’re serious about doing the work and fulfilling orders for your customers, DoorDash is an amazing partner to have.”
DoorDash is so easy. I get the order, I fulfill it, they come and pick it up and deliver it.
Building a better beauty industry
Lakesha’s customers truly see and appreciate what she’s built. “People have come up to me and said that I inspire them because I’m here every day and working really hard,” she shares. “It makes me appreciate for a second what I’m doing before I get back into work mode.”
As a Black small business owner, Lakesha also has some key advice for others looking to start their own businesses or change their industries: “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to change things. We’re all trying to do something to make whatever industry we’re working in better, but your health is important, too. Take it day by day. Take care of yourself first — and then when you’re up for the fight, don’t give up.”
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