When customers enter B’Hold Beauty Supply, the vibe precedes the purchase.
They’re likely greeted by vanilla and lavender aromas, the latest tracks from Jhené Aiko or Megan Thee Stallion and owner Brittny Holder, eager to discuss all their hair needs.
Located inside Heads Will Turn Barbershop on S. Front Street in Steelton, B’Hold Beauty Supply opened its doors in August, becoming the latest addition to Steelton’s Black-owned business community.
For Holder, B’Hold Beauty Supply is a long-awaited dream and perhaps the beginning of an eventual empire.
“I also want to grow my knowledge and education while I’m growing my store…ultimately to be a beauty guru,” said Holder, who has been doing hair since she was 12 years old.
Holder’s early recognition of her talent led her to study cosmetology at William Penn’s vo-tech program in the ninth grade. She later transferred schools, but among her peers, Holder became the source for all things beauty, from hair glue to curling irons.
Fast forward to 2018, when she learned how to buy wholesale hair supplies. Holder started selling weave bundles and quickly discovered that the competition was strong. She launched the B’Hold Beauty brand through her online store, and now she needed another way to stand out.
When COVID-19 hit, Holder began selling products that were in high demand, such as gel and braiding hair, out the closet of her Harrisburg home. This decision planted the seed for B’Hold Beauty Supply.
The next challenge was finding the right location.
Holder’s uncle, Durbey Macon, always supported her dreams. He mentioned that a space was available inside Heads Will Turn Barbershop, a business owned by his best friend, Donald Wilson (aka DW).
Unfortunately, Macon passed in June, but Holder was able to connect with Wilson at the repast and secure her store location.
As a single mom and entrepreneur, Holder has quickly realized that it takes a village to succeed.
“Seek help where you need help,” she said. “Because it’s a lot trying to do everything by yourself.”
See Her Win
Holder’s longtime friends and clients help with store operations, management and marketing.
Chanel Chelsey, a cashier at B’Hold Beauty Supply, met Holder when they both worked at KFC around 2013. Chelsey immediately recognized that Holder was a go-getter, which encouraged her to support her friend in any way she could.
When B’Hold Beauty Supply opened for business, it was an emotional and full-circle moment for Chelsey, too.
She recalled sitting in the KFC drive-thru with Holder during lunch breaks. Holder always spoke life into her dreams, declaring that she wouldn’t work for somebody forever because she was her own boss.
Once Holder started cosmetology school, she looked to Chelsey and their mutual friend, Tierra Taylor, for help running the store.
“It’s not really about the money for me,” Chelsey said. “I just want to see my girl win.”
According to Holder, B’Hold Beauty Supply is the first Black-owned beauty supply store in Steelton, an accomplishment that comes with a unique set of challenges.
Holder’s mentor, Yadira Dickens, has been an invaluable asset throughout the entire process. As the owner of Divine Butterfly Supply in New Castle, Pa., Dickens brings two years of experience to the mentorship.
She emphasized the importance of sharing information with others, even if they’re in the same industry.
“Black businesses were like the underdog,” said Dickens. “If you can’t get support within your own community, you won’t be motivated to continue your journey.”
All of the essentials can be found at B’Hold Beauty Supply: wigs, lashes, bundles, braiding hair and natural hair care products. Holder also sells her own brand, the B’Hold Beauty Crown Collection, which includes edge control and edge scarves.
Holder makes it her mission to have consultations with each customer, so she can understand their hair goals and deliver the ultimate shopping experience.
If the product a customer needs isn’t on the shelf, she directs them to her website, where they’ll have access to over 4,000 products.
Holder believes that’s what many beauty supply stores are missing, someone who can guide customers’ purchasing decisions.
She hates hearing the words nappy or difficult, terms that are often negatively associated with Black hair. Everyone can find a style and product that works for them.
“When you come to my store, you have someone that understands,” said Holder. “Whether you’re natural, whether you get weaves, whether you get relaxers, whether you get a pixie cut.”
Looking ahead, Holder hopes to open stores in Atlanta, California and her Mississippi hometown, a legacy that she can pass onto her children.
Holder’s goal is for B’Hold Beauty Supply also to become a one-stop-shop for the entire beauty process: hair, makeup and nails.
“I want to have a chain of those experiences,” she said.
B’Hold Beauty Supply is located at 8 S. Front St., Steelton. For more information, visit www.bholdbeautysupplystore.com or follow the store on Facebook or Instagram.
Support quality local journalism. Become a Friend of TheBurg!