We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Ireland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I saw a need in the community. There are no black beauty supply stores in my area or close to my area. I would have to drive 30 to 40 minutes to find products for my hair. I noticed the community growing with more people of color who shared the same issue. I figured I should give it a try and use my own money without loans and if it didn’t work out I wouldn’t owe anyone but myself. This was my thinking during the entire process.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am owner of Root 66 Beauty Supply Store in Banning California along with my husband. We opened Root 66 with the vision of opening a store with products that we use. There was not any beauty supply stores in the area and we had to drive out 30 minutes or more. We are the first black owned business and 1st black owned beauty supply in the area. We are known for our excellent customer service, our prices and quality hair products, wigs, hair, and ponytails. We are most proud of how we have gained recognition in the community and surrounding areas. We got to where we are today by the Grace of God. Neither of us have any business experience. I am a Nurse Practitioner and he is a Welder. We stepped out on faith and learned everything on our own through research and prayer.
It wasn’t easy because this industry is monopolized by other ethnicity. It was very difficult to get vendor accounts but once we obtained one, then others were not as difficult. Lessons learned is to never stop pushing until YOU are satisfied. As many folk who encourage you there will be those that try abd discourage you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite Thai Restaurant to eat. I would take them to Palm Springs for a Girls Spa Day at one of the beautiful Resorts.
Then just hang out in my back yard of which I call ” the Ireland Oasis” , barbecue, swim, get in Jacuzzi at night, listen to music, talk, relax and have some great wine.
Sometimes its just good to relax and enjoy your company than to run around everyday.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Arthur. He is always supportive, no matter what I set out to do. Even when I wanted to advance my nursing career. He picked up the slack with caring for our kids and the house hold while still working full-time himself. With my business my husband and my adult kids were and still very supportive and always there to assist me whenever I need them and they all have a role in the business. My husband is my full-time business partner.