New Hyde Park collective wants to help Black-owned brands

CHICAGO — Beauty is a huge industry in the U.S., but Black-owned brands are vastly underrepresented.

A new beauty collecting with a location in Hyde Park is working to change that.

Leslie Roberson knew she wanted to create a business in Hyde Park.

She did market research to see what was missing and started visiting beauty stores in other parts of the city.

“There was one in particular that had a box and all the business owners were Black women and they were so proud,” Roberson said. “And I thought to myself ‘How dare they box us in?’ And I thought, ‘What if I created a space for Black entrepreneurs to give them a space to scale their businesses to the next level and gain national visibility? And that’s what I did. I created it.

The Black Beauty Collective opened near 53rd and Hyde Park Boulevard earlier this month.

It features dozens of brand with a majority Black ownership.

“We have skincare, we have hair care, we have shea moisturizers, we have cosmetics,” Roberson said.

They also carry products for men and wellness lines.

One of the featured brands is Bronze Glory.

“Bronze Glory is a PETA certified ethically sourced cruelty-free organic skincare line,” Cori Saulsberry, the founder and CEO said.

Cori Saulsberry launched the brand in 2020, aiming to help change the face of ownership and representation in the industry.

“I have physical babies but yes, this baby I birthed was definitely a labor or love,” Saulsberry said.

She said seeing her products on the shelves at the collective is a dream come true.

She’s dreaming about the future.

Bronze Glory will be available on Amazon soon and she wants to expand the line.

“We want to move into body care, we want to move into home care, we really just want to create organic, clean products you can feel good about,” Saulsberry said. “A lot of Black businesses have little access to supportive resources.”

Roberson has a roadmap for growth too with plans to open more stores and popups abroad.

She said the response to the collective has been beautiful.

“It’s been amazing to create a space where Black consumers feel seen and valued,” Roberson said. “But then also creating a space for entrepreneurs where you have support.”

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