Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Buy Black

I do my best to support the stores in my community, but 9 out of 10 times I run into a few things:
  1. Low quality merchandise
  2. Merchandise I want to purchase is not available
  3. Attitude
Now before you all go off on a tantrum, this does not happen EVERY time I shop black. Now on with the story.

 I braid CJ's hair which is very curly and long, and I always have a hard time getting his hair to stay untangled. After trying many different products and a suggestion from my hair stylist Kiki I started using Jane Carter solutions (for both of us) which was like a miracle cure for the fuzzies. Today I noticed I was out off hair de-tangler and so I took a walk to one of the local hair supply stores. Now there are two stores within walking distance of where I live one Black owned and one Korean owned. So in keeping with the beliefs of Kwanzaa and all that good stuff I decide to patronize the Black owned store.  When I walked in they seem to be already on alert, and when I looked at the condition of the store I wasn't too thrilled and wasn't sure I wanted to go any further than the front door, to see if he had Jane Carter products, the converstion went something like this:

Me: Hi do you carry Jane Carter hair products?
Him: Huh? I don't understand what you are saying. (UH I speak ENGLISH, so what don't you understand)
Me: UH I don't understand you either, is there someone else here.
Him: *head nod to the left* (ATTITUDE)\
Me:  Hi Sir, do you carry Jane Carter hair products
Him2: NO no no more
Me: uhm do you not have it in stock?
Him2: No we don't carry it, there is no demand for it
Me: *looking around store, where I see lace front wigs, and weave glue* I'm sure others have asked for it since you know what I'm talking about.
Him2: No we just don't carry it.
Me: Thank You anyway.

It was freezing out but I decided to walk to the Korean store. LOW AND BEHOLD THERE IT IS! Not only the spray I am looking for, but every single product made by Jane Carter. And the staff was very helpful. When I left the store I thought about the Chris Rock movie "Good Hair" and what the owners of the Black owned companies were saying about losing business to Korean or non-Blacks.  But here is one of the reasons why!
I went to the Black owned store and they barely carried anything that promoted keeping my hair in its natural glory but they had everything under the sun to change me into Beyonce. From bleaching products, nasty old Razac and lacefronts on sale, and for the most part not much more.

The Korean store however had it all, and not because they care about me being all natural and fabulous. But because on some levels they recognize that all BLACK hair is BIG Business. There is something kind of wrong with that.

I don't know maybe I'm just ranting but I was really bothered by this.


The Jaded NYer said...

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about which is why I always go to the Korean beauty supply store if there isn't a Ricky's nearby; they always have everything I'm looking for and know the products by name and what they do.

damn shame, too...

Irene said...

The Koreans ALWAYS have what I need, no matter what I am looking for. And they are ALWAYS so eager to help me out when I am looking for something.

But when I go into the "black" stores in Downtown BK, they either don't have what I am looking for or they are just beyond rude.

rashida said...

I wonder if they sell Jane Carter products around here. If not, I'll have to pick up a few bottles while I'm there next week.

There are next to no black owned beauty supply stores in my immediate area. The few that are black owned remind me of the scene from Friday. "Black owned business" sign with Koreans running the store.

Smarty Jones said...

It's jacked up really, some black owned places act like you owe them just because they're black owned.
My favorite coffee shop, that happened to be black owned, closed up last month. He was in a bad location. People in low income neighborhoods don't drink gourmet coffee. I'm still sad. The owner knew just how I liked my latte. :(

Tyrone said...

It's a shame that they have such a miserable attitude. Part of keeping our money in our community is not giving it to people just because they're like us, but because they want and earn our trust and dollars.