By Heather V. Gavin
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
Combs, grease, perms, extensions, jewelry— it’s all at Beauty World, Durham’s largest beauty supply store.
Located at 1418 Avondale Drive at the northern edge of Northeast Central Durham, Beauty World occupies 50 thousand square feet.
Employees greet customers as soon as they walk into the store and because the store is so busy, 10 of the 30 employees can always be found on the selling floor.
Hair and beauty supply stores are common in urban areas of any community. This store is no stranger to the people of Northeast Central Durham because it has been in business for over 20 years.
The Korean owners of the store are now retirees but General Manager Phillip Song described himself as a chip off of the old block.
“I am the grandson of the owner of this store, and have been running it for a little over five years now,” said Song.
The Song family came over to the United States to start a business selling beauty supply products and hair extensions.
“Over in foreign countries like my home Korea, it is a well-known fact that one can make more money for his or her family in America with such businesses like ours,” said Song. “It is an opportunity that my grandfather took advantage of.”
Customers who enter are greeted by a large shoe section while the entire left side of the store holds countless extensions in different lengths and colors.
Jewelry, hair care supply, wigs, and make-up are available throughout the store. Online reviewers of the store comment that they carry many discontinued and hard to find items along with every line of African American hair and makeup products.
Jessica McNair, elementary education senior at N.C. Central University shops at Beauty World almost every other week.
“I like shopping at Beauty World because of all the friendly customer service that they offer,” said McNair. “I have never had any trouble finding anything that I need.”
Song says that many students from NCCU are faithful customers. “I know a lot of my regular customers personally, and many are young black women from NCCU,” said Song. “I even employ a couple of their students.”
“I love this store,” said Bri’Awn Patrick, NCCU sophomore. “There is just so much to choose from as far as product goes, but I’m consistent on the type of hair that I buy.”
When asked about the family’s secret to success, Song replied, “We are Asians doing black business so getting personal and knowing your customers is key.”
Song then added that employees are like family which obviously makes the working experience even more enjoyable.
“We hope to be around for at least another 20 years serving here in the Durham community in the same old place,” said Song.