Celebrating a Black-owned business

This is it! Hair World helps people feel beautiful

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A. Jorgensen

Charles and Sandra Annon and their beauty supply store This Is It! Hair World have made a difference in their community.

Ally Jorgensen

Elgin’s Black-owned beauty supply store, This is it! Hair World, is not only serving good looks and high-quality products but also spreading positivity in the community. 

For store owners Sandra and Charles Annan, having a Black-owned business is more than just owning a store, it is about making people feel beautiful and accepted. 

“I’m going to make you feel warm because you come in here for a reason,” Sandra said. 

The couple first opened the store in 2005 after Sandra had run her own salon and barbershop, and her husband Charles retired. The two were the perfect candidates for a beauty supply store. 

With over 25 years of industry experience, Sandra, who is a licensed cosmetologist, lends her technical expertise to help with hair coloring, styling, and maintenance needs. She also shares styling tips for wigs and helps customers treat damaged hair. Charles used his corporate expertise and sales experience to help run the business. He is the expert behind business planning, marketing, and selling strategies. 

The two work on creating an environment that is welcome to all hair needs: color, extensions, treatments, braids, and more.   

“It’s all about service. [We want you to] feel welcome. You come in here for a reason, and your reason is because you need some hair, you need some product, or something is going on with your hair. I’m here for the beauty of it, making everybody feel good. When it comes down to color and race, it doesn’t matter not to us,” Sandra said.

Sandra is passionate about making everybody feel welcome, despite their race or ethnicity. 

“We don’t look at ourselves as a Black business. We look at ourselves as a beauty supply business,” Charles said. “It’s predominantly ethnic, but a lot of white people and [other people come into the store]. If you look on our website, we have a lot of products that are across the range.” 

Not everything is beauty and glamour, though. It is not easy to run a business, and it is even harder to be a Black-owned business.

“The thing [about] being a Black-owned business versus maybe a white-owned business is that we are very limited in terms of resources,” Charles said. “We had the advantage of having some resources on our own to get into the business, but we have to work extra hard and prove ourselves over and over.”

“There is a level of discrimination that still happens in business, but especially when you’re a Black-owned business,” Charles said. “There’s a lot more scrutiny on you and your ability to be successful, so you have to work beyond all that.”

According to Charles, you have to be confident in yourself. You do not have to have the fear that people would not come to you because you are Black-owned.

The couple hopes to continue to spread their message in their community but also on their e-commerce website.

Visit https://www.thisisithairworld.com/  to learn more and browse their online collection.

This Is It! Hair World

805 Dundee Ave Elgin, IL 60120

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