There have been a lot of conversations within recent years about how Black entrepreneurs have been shut out of the market when it comes to beauty stores and wholesale. However, there have been a few that have managed to bypass traditional roadblocks and secure commercial spaces to open stores in their local neighborhoods. One young teenager living in Brooklyn managed to achieve her goal and make history at the same time.
Paris McKenzie is the owner of Paris Beauty Supplyz, a Brooklyn-based beauty supply store. The teenager became a viral sensation on social media after announcing the opening of her shop with thousands of retweets and comments of support. McKenzie credits her mother, Senica Thompson, for working with her and letting her observe how she ran her own business from childhood.
“I do have a lot of business experience. I’ve been helping my mom run her business since I was very, very young. So I know how to handle finances and how to market products in the store,” McKenzie told CBS2 about the venture. “I had enough money saved to invest in this.”
The young entrepreneur says that she still tries to enjoy moments of being a normal teenager with friends and learning to balance between time with her girlfriends and running a business full-time, hoping to inspire the next generation of young female business owners. “I don’t really have any more free time, but when I do, I try to go out with my friends,” added McKenzie. “Walking in here every morning, it makes me feel awesome.”