By Mahalia Anderson
Beauty can go a long way, and Waterbury business owner Cherron Freeman is making sure every customer that visits her store leaves feeling even more beautiful then when they walked in.
Just a few months ago, Cherron’s Beauty Supply was only an idea for Freeman, who is a recent HBCU graduate from North Carolina Central University and holds two degrees—one in political science with a concentration in prelaw and another in mass communication with a concentration in public relations.
“I got the idea to open my store after my mom showed me the space for rent and kept telling me it was a perfect location for a business,” she shared. “I wanted to open something Waterbury didn’t have already and then we came up with a beauty supply store to bring something different.”
Since then, the Cherron Beauty Supply has been flourishing.
“We carry everything you need in a beauty supply store, from all varieties of colorful wigs to natural hair care products such as Mielle and ORS,” shared Freeman. “We also [do] hair braiding and crocheting, [have] hair accessories, jewelry and a lot more.”
When it comes to hair, Freeman knows that quality is important, and she knows that her customers can depend on her store for the right products to suit their needs and help enhance their natural beauty.
“We make sure we have the best quality wigs and products for our customers,” she said. “We only want to have products which really work for your hair and wigs that will last.”
Cherron’s Beauty Supply is able to cater to each customer’s personality, with affordability as a priority. Her best-selling products show how Freeman’s customers are all about being fun and creative. “Our customers love our wigs! We have so many unique colors and styles, and we’re still adding more every day,” she shared. “One of our most popular products if our Tie Dye Wig—people love it. We have to restock it all the time!”
“We really take the time to research everything and choose what is best. From the wigs the products and how to use them, we want to be able to give honest information.”
Freeman understands the value of each customer and her goal is to make sure that when they leave the store that not only are the happy but are radiating from the inside out.
“The best customer service is having knowledge about your products and be able to inform your customers properly. You also need a very friendly, outgoing personality,” explained Freeman. “We really take the time to research everything and choose what is best. From the wigs the products and how to use them, we want to be able to give honest information.”
Cherron’s Beauty Supply stocks beautiful wigs in many different colors, styles and materials, including synthetic to human hair, to set the look for a special night out or even a casual day in the park.
With success already knocking at her door, Freeman’s dream is to grow her business and be able to teach other girls how, with following their passion and putting in hard work, they can do the same. “Wanting to expand keeps me going! I want to have multiple stores in different cities all around and be able to teach other girls how to do it too,” she shared.
Freeman has already made a huge difference in her community and has high hopes to do more in the future. “We had a toy giveaway for Christmas in partnership with The New Woman’s Club,” she shared. “We plan on doing a lot more in the spring!”
One way or another, Cherron is beautifying her community, one product at a time.
Cherron’s Beauty Supply is located at 68 Willow Street in Waterbury, Connecticut and is open Monday-Friday, 10:00am-7:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-7:00pm and Sunday 12:00-5:00pm. Shop on their website or find Cherron’s Beauty Supply on Instagram or Facebook.
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By Brenda De Los Santos
Augusta, Georgia native Brittany Curry has taken a winding journey to create Love on You, a Norwich-based business that offers natural hair and body care products, salon services and self-care education.
Today, Love on You serves as a hub for women to pamper themselves with salon services, learn how to care for their hair and scalp, and purchase the products they need to do so. Curry’s line of products includes Butter Love, her signature handmade body butter, sugar scrubs, candles, shampoo, a deep conditioning hair mask and even other products like beard oil and soaps. The shampoo and mask are both vegan. Curry says, “One of the things I wanted to do was create a professional grade product that was clean.” Providing her own line of products has allowed her to share her tried and true system for maintaining hair and scalp health while also educating her clients on what they are putting on themselves. She is motivated because there is a need. “There are marketing tricks that keep people misinformed,” she says of mainstream products for Black hair care.
"I am sowing that seed for them to be able to care for their hair on their own and normalize being able to maintain their hair."
Butter Love, her hair and body balm, is one of her best sellers, along with her “Heal and Seal” package, which includes her shampoo, hair mask and Butter Love. She also carries earrings and other jewelry for sale, and clients can also book makeup services in addition to salon services like silk presses and natural and protective styles.
Curry has been a licensed cosmetologist for twelve years, though her initial plans were to be in the nail industry. “I actually wanted to be a nail tech but the school I went to didn’t have a nail program, so I went to cosmetology.” When her husband, who serves in the US Navy, was stationed at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton from 2010 to 2015, Curry took a break from doing hair and instead focused on real estate.
While living in Hawaii in 2017, Curry transitioned back to doing hair. She noticed that many of the Black women she met there as a hairstylist had very dry hair, and she wanted to do something to help. She started experimenting in her kitchen and her line of products was born. Clients asked her about the products she was using and said that they would buy them if she sold them. “That's how it started, women loving on themselves,” she says. She sold her products in a small retail space there until her husband was given new orders to return to Groton.
Once back in Connecticut, Curry noticed her previous clients from Hawaii struggling to maintain their hair health, and with renewed purpose, decided to focus on teaching her clients to care for their scalp and hair in addition to the services and products she already offered so clients can care for their hair in between visits to her salon. She says that seeing this happen with her past clients in Hawaii was a lesson learned. “With this focus, I am sowing that seed for them to be able to care for their hair on their own and normalize being able to maintain their hair,” says Curry.
However, it became clear to her that in order to do this, she needed to open her own salon. “The vision of what I wanted didn’t fit in the culture of places I was in. I felt led. God led me to do it,” says Curry of opening her own full-service salon.
Opening her own space wasn’t without challenges. “I didn’t even have funds,” Curry says. Despite financial obstacles, Curry says that things just aligned, “I called a wholesaler that did fixtures, and they were closing and their fixtures were all marked down. I had passed by this space so often and I didn’t even see it - I finally just peeked inside.” She signed the lease for her space in Norwich in February of 2020. “I just took a leap of faith,” she says.
After renovations, Curry opened Love on You in the midst of the pandemic, and it was worth it. Curry says “I am definitely grateful that I can bring Love on You to this area, this is a very underserved community.” Her goal is to treat people how she would want to be treated and create a welcoming environment. She says, “I aim for people to feel hospitality like from the down South. They are safe here.”
Love on You is located at 460 North Main Street in Norwich, Connecticut and open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find or shop at Love on You online at this link or find Love on You on Instagram or Facebook.
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