If a community isn’t serving your needs, you can step up and fill it yourself.
When husband and wife duo Reginald and Stephanie Harris couldn’t find a wide array of products for Black hair and kinky hair in Paris, they put their heads together and opened My Peoples Beauty Supply. The new store off of Clarksville Street welcomes customers with clean cases and shelves stocked with products designed specifically for Black hair, like Lock and Twist Gel for dreadlocks and twists or Kaleidoscope Miracle Drops.
“The thought process in opening our business is that we weren’t satisfied with the choices we had around Paris as far as beauty supply goes for our culture, for our texture of hair and everything else,” Reginald said. “And the only way we could change that is to be a part of it.”
Stephanie and Reginald said before opening their store, they would need to commute to Dallas just to find products that worked with their hair and the hairstyles they wanted to wear. Now that they’ve brought not only hair products to Paris, but accessories like beads for braids and extensions too, Reginald said people have been commuting from places like Sulphur Springs and Cooper just to go to their store.
“We’re trying to bring the city to the country. Instead of you having to drive 45 minutes, 45 miles to go get certain products, you’ll be able to get everything you need that you would normally go to the city to get right here in Paris,” Reginald said. “And besides specializing in products, we want to specialize in customer service. So it’d be like a one stop shop if it’s anything dealing with beauty.”
After opening about six weeks ago, the store is still in its infancy, but Stephanie and Reginald are already expanding the products and services they offer to make sure their customers have everything they need. Stephanie said that when a customer came in and couldn’t find a top-of-the-line product she was looking for, she and Reginald ordered it online and stocked it in the store. It’s important to them that their customers know the couple is working to fulfill their every need and as part of that mission, Stephanie said she has partnered with local hair stylists that know how to work with Black hair, a skill that some schools don’t teach, so customers who need recommendations can find a stylist to go to.
“We know people that do hair and we have them come in and leave business cards,” she said. “That way when a particular person comes in and maybe wants their hair a particular way, like dreads, we do have people that we know that can definitely help with that.”
Because of the work the couple has put in to create a store that’s inclusive, Reginald said they’ve received lots of positive feedback from customers who couldn’t access the products they needed before.
“The people who know about us, they love the store,” Reginald said. “They come in here giving us their appreciation — which we appreciate them too — but they come in here like ‘I appreciate what you’re doing. I love it. I’m gonna be back.’ You know what I mean? They support us.”
Looking to the future, the couple said they hope to expand the range of products they offer to include more clothing and accessories and will continue listening to their customers. If someone can’t find what they’re looking for, Stephanie and Reginald will make sure they get it in stock.
Representation matters, and Stephanie and Reginald wanted to show up for the Black community that they said couldn’t find products that were inclusive and catered to their hair. It was important to them to show support.
“We are here for the community,” Reginald said.
My Peoples Beauty Supply is located at 1245 Clarksville St. and can be contacted at 903-669-3236.