Friday, July 3, 2009

Dee's Beauty Supply and Salon

By: Alex Williams
HS 129, Summer 1 2009

The pictures attached are of Dee’s Beauty Supply and Salon. I believe this black business is a great depiction of African American life today as we continue to grow in current America. This black business is located in Germantown, Maryland and was founded by Dee Harris in 1992.

I chose to write about this business because I have known the owner, Dee Harris, since my family and I moved to Germantown in 1999. Ever since 1999 my family and I have been customers of Dee’s Beauty Supply and Salon. In its early existence Dee’s shop was not solely a beauty supply shop. For the first 9 years of its existence it was a movie rental store that also sold a small selection of beauty supplies. This movie rental business was somewhat successful but over the years competition began to impose on her proceeds.

When a new Blockbuster Video opened across the street from the Dee’s Shop it forced her to shift her efforts to her beauty supplies. This move proved to be a smart business choice as there were few other beauty supply areas to compete with. Although there were many commercial hair products on the market, Dee’s Beauty Supply and Salon, allows African Americans to locate products specifically created for their hair. It was not until Dee opened a salon within the shop that her business truly began to flourish. This provided a convenient place for my sisters as well as other local women to get their hair washed and styled. In 2007 Dee was able to expand her business by opening another beauty supply and salon shop in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Dee’s Beauty Supply and Salon not only shows how African Americans were able to make their way in today’s business world, but how they were able to improvise as well as adapt in order to survive. In many ways, it resembles our days as a people trying to survive in this country’s founding years.

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