There has been an overall change in the way consumers buy hair over the last few years. They have joined consumers of other goods and services in the shift to online purchases. That doesn’t mean the collapse of sales of hair and associated products from brick and mortar stores market. It does say that a smart entrepreneur would be advised to sell both in-store and online. The feeling being one system may augment the other. The point is, versatility is the operative word as it is in all sales these days.
Sam Ennon, the founder of BOBSA (Black Owned Beauty Supply Association), has been associated with the black hair business for practically a lifetime. BOBSA (www.bobsa.org) was created to meet the needs of the black consumer of hair products. At the website, one can find answers and current information in all aspects of the hair business today.
Recognized as a voice in the industry when related to consumer behavior, sales and product from the entrepreneur side, and the current state of affairs, the top Chinese hair manufacturer sought out Mr. Ennon last year. That cooperation resulted in the formation of EBHA (https://ebhahair.com/ ) or Enterprise of Black Hair Alliance. It was created to directly challenge the Koreans domination of the 9 billion dollars black hair care market. Along with providing black entrepreneurs direct access to products and supplies that the Koreans were sharing only with fellow Korean Beauty Supply owners. In fact, their mission statement reads as follows,
Enterprise of Black Hair Alliance (EBHA) is dedicated to a shared effort to create and develop a beauty industry that bridges with the black community. Our vision embraces the belief that our alliance will provide meaningful opportunities for all parties to generate revenues and manifest premium products and brands.
Our collaboration will enable the black community to fully realize the potential opportunities in committing to the creation of industry brands that will bring price and recognition to everyone involved in this collaboration.
An Entrepreneur reading that statement could conclude that he/she can become a player in a market whereas before anyone, not Korean was shut out of the management process. The intention is excellent so how is it working on a day to day basis? An evolving entity is a short answer. I’ll have more about that process at a later date. For now, you can go to the website and ask your question of interest. As you can see by the pictured ad, competition for quality products at competitive pricing is not a problem.
With the market being so versatile, even EBHA has gone through changes to meet the needs of the consumers. As they look for packaging and pricing that attracts an avid buying consumer. The Korean beauty supply industry sells what is known as Commercial hair. Since they have dominated the industry for the last decade or so, many users think this is the better grade hair.
Meanwhile, Sam Ennons’ developed a website, http://www.thecollectionhair.com/ , to sell directly to consumers. He and EBHA sell what is known as Bundle Hair. It takes four bundles to make a full and complete hairpiece. A grade that is superior to the Commercial Grade of the Koreans. If you look at The Collection site as well as EBHA’s you will notices the display layout and ease of selecting a product. That is not an anomaly.
People are creatures of habit and are already used to buying from the Koreans. Most continue to think that is the best quality hair. So to get them to switch over to another vendor can be a monumental task. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to build a reputation. Short of having that kind of word-of-mouth time, the website is your introduction and should provide the tools that are helpful to the consumer. It must be simple yet attractive for most. It should make for a comfortable transactional visit while allowing the user to carefully examine the hair. The supporting products must be packaged and displayed in a way that is slick and informative. And in the end, once a buyer receives their product promptly and uses it, they must be satisfied. They will pass their experience on, good or bad, so the impression your site makes is critical to your bottom-line.
Mr. Ennon’s site provides incentives like a thirty day 100% no questions asked money back guarantee. There is Free Shipping on orders over $75. Some items are dropped ship; others are sent from the US with a 5-8 day arrival date. There are no customs, tax or other duty fees on imports. Sam also has a growing following through BOBSA. He has a program that will provide a BOBSA entrepreneur a complete inventory and stock their shelves for the grand opening. Thus, a shopper can say this site is not only innovative but indeed consumer friendly and competitive by design.
Sam, an idea man, has another entity that is one my favorite concepts. Think of it, you, a consumer, are sitting in a beauty shop, barber shop, or visited some other type retail outlet and you notice this large black vending machine that offers black hair products. Your first impression is the uniqueness of the idea. As a hair care consumer, you may see some of the product you use for sale in the box. I won’t go through the full concept here, but you can visit the website at http://theblackboxbarbercaddy.com/
There is The Black Box Barber Caddy for men’s hair and skin products, The Black Box Beauty Supply for products catering to women and The Black Box Natural Products filled with natural products. For clarification of details, you can email Sam Ennon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may want to give him a phone call at 650-863-3491.
All in all, the black hair care product industry is alive, competitive and now servicing their consumers in many more ways. No longer is it dominated by the Koreans. Although depending on where you are, it may physically look like it via the sheer number of Korean brick and mortar stores in our neighborhoods. Look for a following up video interview with my friend Sam Ennon before the end of this month. We both subscribe to the idea that black dollars must be circulated within the black community to gain wealth. We will talk more about that concept on the interview. He will also bring us up to date on his collaboration with EBHA. Watch our social media sites for the date of that interview.
Peace, stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,
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We are in a continuing effort to publicize my book, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. It examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of my latest and fifth book, Misguided Intentions. Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions
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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment