It’s odd however, not so odd at the same time. By now, many people expect to walk into a beauty source store and see a Korean store owner manning the register. Whether you’re in the suburbs of Houston or on MLK Blvd in Anytown, USA, guess what happens to expect. But what can clarify the seemingly random attraction of Black hair to Korean entrepreneurs? Is it that they love the black hair so much?
Was there an idea amongst the first influx of Korean immigrants to hone in on the black hair care industry and dominate the beauty source store market? From a business perspective, it was no coincidence. The wig business and the explosion of the wig business in South Korea in the 1960s are instrumental to understanding the Korean possession of beauty source stores. Based on the book “BY MYSELF: Korean Businesses and Race Relations in the us”, the rise of the YH Trade wig developing company was significant. Founder Yung Ho Chang, conceived the thought of the business while working as the vice-director of Korean Trade Promotion Corporation in the U.S. 100 million value of wigs.
The wig business was doing so well, especially amongst African-American consumers that the Korean Wig Merchants pushed to corner the marketplace. ” Quite simply, Korean hair could only be produced in Korea. “Six months later, America government created a ban on any wig that contains locks from China,” effectively placing South Korea in the best position to exploit the market.
Today, there are over 9,000 Korean-owned beauty supply stores serving a billion dollar market for Black hair. Between production, distributing and selling these locks care products, Korean entrepreneurs may actually control all major components. Ranen was inspired to make his documentary because of what he noticed as the injustice of unfair business methods.
“It’s really about allowing black manufacturers to get inside the distribution route,” he said. “‘I infer, easily am asked by you, ‘what is your eyesight for the future? ‘ ” Well, right away, it’s a 100 black-owned stores opening up right next to Korean stores – a boycott before Korean stores acknowledge at least 20% black-owned-produced products. According Ranin, there are only four central vendors portion beauty supply stores in the country and these Korean possessed vendors discriminate against Black store owners to be able to maintain their monopoly on the market.
Ranin interviewed Lucky White, the owner of Kizure Ironworks which is an expert to make styling tools like curling irons, for his 2006 documentary. Ms. White stated that distributors informed her that her products were no more popular as a justification to turn away her products in favor of knock-offs made by Asian companies.
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Devin Robinson, an economics writer and professor of “How to be a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner”, arranged a boycott last November against Non- Black Owned Beauty Supply stores. “The problem is with the vendors.” he has stated. “Vendors are Non-Blacks and they handpick who they will spread products to mainly.
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