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Cleveland Area Mother and Son Team Ink 7-figure Deal for Hair Care and Beauty Supplies

The Clevealnd-Canton-Akron, Ohio area is among the best-kept Black lifestyle secrets in the Midwest. Enclave after enclave of middle-class Blacks are enjoying relatively good standards of living in the northeast region of the state. With an African American population of only slightly more than 10 percent, minority business owners are managing to thrive in the Akron, Ohio area located on 40 miles south of Cleveland.

The Play Beauty supply store is proof of the pudding. Owners Nneka Slade, 49, and her son Kameron Coleman, 25, in only four short years, have inked a seven-figure deal to expand the business with new stores in locations across the Buckeye State.

“We never dreamed about this happening,” Slade, told The Akron Beacon Journal per AfroTech. “We didn’t even know what was going to happen but if we failed, we were going to fail big, something like this doesn’t happen.”

In March of this year the Slades opened a second location, Star Beauty Plus in the Maple Heights area cementing the success of their partnership and building a legacy of wealth for the close-knit family.

“She leans on me to bring in the new 21st-century ideas, the delivery, websites, marketing. It’s a balance with each other,” said Coleman of his mother.

Black hair care is a multi-billion dollar industry, and although the demographics didn’t initially indicate that a Black-owned beauty supply store in Ohio was a winning proposition, the Slades have proved the contrary and filled a need for Black men and women in the Akron-Canton, Ohio area.

Black consumers prioritize hair health, styling, and their distinct hair types, resulting in increased spending and innovative product offerings, making beauty and hair care a $2.5 billion industry which is expected to continue its growth in the coming years, reaching a projected worth of $4.6 billion by 2032.

Slade, who worked as a cosmetologist for three decades before her foray into owning the company, understands the assignments. This is why all products at Play Beauty Supply are curated with minority groups in mind.

“People that come in now to the store are excited to see that it’s Black-owned,” said Slade. “They come in shedding tears because they can buy the products they need for their hair. People come in from all over either around or out of town, and most are coming from Akron and Canton areas. We are so happy about the support we have received.”

Prior to purchasing Play Beauty Supply, Slade and Coleman took the e-commerce approach to selling hair extensions. After spending time in hair salons and working directly with stylists to create visibility around their products, the two decided to go all in with a storefront.