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Meet Tonya Fairley of Strandz Unlimited Beauty Supply in Covina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tonya Fairley.

Tonya, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Being raised in a foster home, you didn’t talk much about entrepreneurship or thinking outside the box. I would dream about owning my own hair salons and beauty supply as a way to escape the turmoil and hard times I had endured. So after 22 years in corporate America, I became a full-time hairstylist. I always knew I wanted to also have a beauty supply.

I had small retail space located in both of my hair salons at the time but my dream was bigger. It wasn’t until Covid19 began to creep in that I started to think outside the box again. Salons and many other personal service industries were being forced to close, my online product Strandz Unlimited- Hydro-Curlz Line was doing well but I knew it would be a matter of time before I would be ordered to close both of my salons. So if I was going to pivot now was the time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Opening a Black-owned beauty supply and having a Black-owned hair care line is always met with challenges. Black women are the largest consumers of hair care products however are the minority in owning the brands. The beauty supply industry(both supply and manufacturing) is dominated by the Korean market and leaves little room for others to compete. The vendor side of the Business was the most challenging but with perseverance and determination(great credit, too) I was able to secure 99% of the accounts needed to open my beauty supply.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Strandz Unlimited Beauty Supply – what should we know?
Strandz Unlimited Beauty Supply is the 1st Black-owned Beauty Supply in Covina, CA. We also carry our own brand of hair care products Strandz Unlimited-Hydro Curlz… We cater to all ethnicities and have a wide range of products.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family have been amazing. My husband LaMont hasn’t learned the art of saying “no” My daughter Brea is a driving force behind my marketing and creative ideas while Tiara and Tahlor are always encouraging me to just do it!! But I have a good friend who I credit the push to finally pull the trigger and get this going Keisha Bowen is an awesome mentor, businesswoman and friend. She knew what I needed and help direct me.

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