Grambling chamber host opening

The Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce sponsored the grand opening of Pretty Beauty supply and left the village community buzzing. Heavenly Hands barbershop and beauty salon also joined in the festivities and fired up the grill for customer and community appreciation.

The newest member of the Chamber, Hanniyah Castro, a native of Shreveport and former computer science major at Grambling State University, cut the ribbon officially opening the Pretty Beauty Supply. Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce president, Barbara McIntyre, presented Castro with a Certificate of Membership, officially welcoming Pretty Beauty Supply into the Chamber.

In celebration of the grand opening Mary Prelow, Castro’s mother and Grambling alumni, sold plate lunches.

Pretty Beauty Supply offers the essentials of ethnic hair care products with everything from hair colour and relaxers to curling irons and lace front wigs. Castro invites students and residents alike to visit for hair care products and/or accessories. 

 The Grambling location is the second in Castro’s entrepreneurial endeavours. The first Pretty Beauty Supply and Costume opened in April 2010 in Castro’s hometown, Austin, Texas. “The demographic and the need for a hair store in the area” are the components that Castro says inspired her to bring the business to Grambling.  One of the main differences in the Austin store is that Castro is able to provide custom screen-printing services.  “For now pre-made items will be available at the Grambling shop and we may expand to custom orders later,” said Castro.

Castro pointed out some of the adversity that an African American beauty supply storeowner faces in the industry.  “The black hair care industry is dominated by Asians, and sometimes distributors don’t want to deal with us because we are black… it’s like a secret society,” said Castro. 

When asked what could be done to advance the growth of black-owned beauty supply business, Castro responded saying, “all black beauty supply owners should support each other…hair is the market, and we [African Americans] spend the most money in the beauty supply stores.” 

Right next door, Joshua “J.J.” Jason, owner of Heavenly Hands barbershop fed the community of Grambling.   Jason estimates that he served at least 100 pounds of chicken. He said he wanted to “fellowship and give back to the community … and everybody eats barbeque.”  Jason said he noticed “a few new faces” since the customer/community appreciation and hopes to continue hosting events to positively affect the community. 

‘J.J.’ as he is known and prefers to be called, studied business management at GSU and when the opportunity to purchase the barbershop arose in 2006, he left his studies to pursue a life-long dream of owning his own business. The barbershop will offer student discounts every Wednesday during the month of November with a student ID.

The Chamber office is located in the Village in the old Pizza Express/Subway building and not only offers support and business advise to members but provides internships as well. Business is booming in the Village and the Chamber is there to support them. Call 318-243-1858 for membership information.