Created: Dec 03, 2020 07:00 AM
Before Shawnette Johnson and daughter Sha-dannae’ Johnson at Bermuda Beauty Supplies (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Products available at Bermuda Beauty Supplies in St George’s (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Bermuda Beauty Supplies sells everything from diapers to formula, but owner Before Shawnette Johnson’s true passion lies with hair care items.
The store located upstairs at 16 Water Street, St George’s, sells a wide range of hair related products such as weaves, shampoos, conditioners, beard creams, grooming pomades and scalp care items.
Ms Johnson first started thinking about selling hair related products while working at a pharmacy in Bermuda. Customers were asking about weaves and wigs, but the store owner thought they were too much of a headache.
“The store owner said people stole them quickly,” she said.
She noticed the demand for these products increased after the pandemic set in.
“A lot of people are self-grooming now,” she said.
She opened Bermuda Beauty Supplies on October 12, with the aim of making hair care more affordable in these difficult financial times.
“One of our most popular products is our hair weaves, especially the 86in,” she said. “Those are $6.95 for one pack. A lot of people say ‘that’s it? In town have to pay $13’. I say the price doesn’t need to be that high.”
Recently, she started carrying Island Potions, a locally made line of natural hair care products that includes ice gel and tropical growth formula, among other things.
Opening Bermuda Beauty Supplies was a vision from God for Ms Johnson.
“It is a faith-based business,” she said.
She loves to play gospel music while the store is open. And she prays about every business decision before making it.
When business picks up, she would like to employ teenagers to help them find a positive focus.
“If you take the chance and the opportunity to groom them you will see the blessings within it,” she said. “God told me you will open the store and hire them and get one after another off the street.”
She loves to listen to gospel music, and often plays it while the store is open.
Her daughter Sha-dannae’ Johnson, 17, is already learning from the business. She helps in the store most days, and also handles the social media.
“I finished high school early,” she said. “I wanted to go to the United States for college, but that didn’t work out. So when my mother said let’s open a shop I was all for it. I said yes, let’s open a shop together.”
She has worked hard to make sure Bermuda Beauty Supplies is advertised on various social media platforms. She has also created a website for the store.
“I try to get it out there as much as I can,” she said. “I am doing everything to get our sales up.”
Ms Johnson said their biggest challenge so far had been maintaining foot traffic, especially since other stores in St George’s already have a reputation for selling hair care products.
“We are trying to get our name out and what we sell and what we do,” she said. “I have been sticking with the vision.”
Sha-dannae’ said on quiet days, it is easy to get discouraged.
“Our first day was overwhelming,” she said. “For that first week we made over $1,000.”
But each week after that point got quieter.
Ms Johnson said in the beginning they didn’t have a credit card machine which made transactions complicated, but they have since sorted out that issue.
Sha-dannae’ said there is always something to do in the store, even when they don’t have a lot of customers. She often likes to work on the website.
She is also working on her customer service skills since she has social anxiety.
“I have learnt patience since doing this,” she said. “You might have a vision, but it might not always be as planned. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches. You have to pick yourself up and start again.”
She and her mother welcomed Sunday afternoon shopping in St George’s.
“Every Sunday from now until Christmas, companies around the area will be open from 12pm until 4pm,” she said.
Sha-dannae’ wants to use the money earned from the business to study psychology in university.
Bermuda Beauty Supplies delivers through the Sargasso Sea app.
The store is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm.
For more information see bdabeautysupplies.com or on Instagram @bermudabeautysupplies.