For LaTaja Dingle, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” is more than a popular adage, it’s a way of life. Frustrated by the lack of Black-owned beauty supply stores in her neighborhood in Akron, Ohio, and the lack of knowledge other store owners have about ethnic hair, Dingle decided to start her own business to fill the void; thus the idea for Royalty Beauty Supply was born. When Royalty officially opens for business, Dingle will be the first Black woman to own a beauty supply store in Akron.
“I’m looking forward to what it’ll represent in the community as a small business and a Black owned business.” Dingle says. “I really want to focus on recirculating the money back into the Black community.”
Although the numbers vary, according to recent reports by the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (B.O.B.S.A.), the Black hair care and cosmetic industry generates $9 billion dollars in profit both nationwide and internationally, annually, and yet just 78 beauty supply stores in the country are Black owned. Dingle is determined to skew that number in favor of Black empowerment. She explains that Royalty will focus on specialized business-to-business sales for barbershops and salons by offering more affordable prices on items shop owners are already using in their businesses. In addition to beauty merchandise, Dingle also wants to sell toiletries and household cleaning supplies created by Black people, in hopes of one day becoming the largest retail store that sells Black owned products.