Not many 16-year olds can say that they have a successful business under their belts, let alone two. Yet, that’s exactly what Paris Mckenzie is doing. This young lady is currently juggling a beauty supply store and a salon while tackling her education. What’s even better is that this is far from the end of her journey.
Paris’ Early Years
It might not seem strange for Paris to open a beauty supply store when you know her history. According to her interviews, her mother opened a salon a few months after giving birth to her. As a result, Paris grew up helping around the store. From as early as the age of 10, she’d mastered cleaning the barber tools, wiping down the salon chairs, and shampooing the clients’ hair. Within a couple of years, her mother was asking her to color and install wigs.
This start at the salon led to her working with clients when she wasn’t in school. Paris notes that she saved all the money she earned because she had no responsibilities to take care of. Since this money would be integral to the next step in her life, it’s a good thing that she did.
The Inspiration Behind Her Business
Even as a child, Paris noted certain issues for the Black women in her community. When they were searching for the hair products they needed, they often had to travel far from home to find them. Additionally, shopping wasn’t usually a pleasant experience because African American women tend to be under higher surveillance in beauty supply stores. Since they felt rushed, it was unlikely that they’d spend the time necessary for finding exactly what suited them.
When the space beside her mother’s salon became available, it offered an opportunity for Paris to