NEW BRITAIN – Jeweled Girl Squad, a community program started by Jeweled Hair Lounge & Beauty Spa, is providing opportunities for small, Black-owned businesses to showcase their products at the store for no cost.
“We knew that in order to close the wealth gap, we needed to provide opportunities, resources and access to our community. The way to do that is through cooperative economics,” said Adrian Goodwin, co-owner of Jeweled Hair Lounge & Beauty Spa and co-founder/marketing director of Jeweled Girl Squad. “It’s hard being a business owner. I feel like having a brick and mortar business, a lot of people don’t have an opportunity to have a storefront, so just sharing that space it means a lot to me and to them.”
Jeweled Girl Squad hosted an event Saturday with Adralice Chatman, owner of Vibrant Intentions, an all-vegan and cruelty free aroma therapy body product line.
“I got to connect with some of the customers there as I displayed the products in the front opposed to through the computer screen or phone,” Chatman said. “I learned a lot.”
Half of the products put in the store were sold within the first day.
“Even after she left someone came to the store just to pick up her product,” Goodwin said.
Chatman is a 23-year-old college graduate from Long Island who started making body butters for herself.
“I don’t like to use just anything on my skin, especially if they have ingredients that don’t kind of align with what I would like to use on my skin,” Chatman said. “So I had a couple of friends and they said, ‘I want some,’ so I made them some and then one of my friends asked ‘how much?’ Then I thought I could get paid for this. Then word spread and I shared it on my Instagram and it took off.”
Jeweled Girl Squad has provided opportunities for other small business owners with products including makeup, lashes and hair care products.
“I’m very grateful for people like Adrian for giving small businesses like myself the opportunity to really get my name out there and making me feel like I’m a part of something greater than myself, especially right now with everything that’s happening in the Black community. I think it’s really imperative for us to grow together and this is definitely one way to get there just the support of our own,” Chatman said.
Jeweled Hair Lounge & Beauty Spa promotes the program by creating flyers looking for other small businesses that have unique, handcrafted items that don’t have a storefront and posting it on their social media.
“It’s been great. It’s a great program that we have,” Goodwin said. “I just did it again so I have two other people I’m looking at in New Britain that could possibly bring their stuff to the store.”
Jeweled Hair Lounge & Beauty Spa is located at 44 Main St.