SHE. Event Indy is bringing about 20 minority-women-owned businesses to the center of the city this fall.
The SHE. Xperience Department Store is scheduled to open Oct. 1 in the Circle Centre Mall. SHE. Event Indy, an organization that provides connections and education for mainly minority-women-owned businesses, will own the shop and vendors will pay rent to use a portion of the 9,048 square foot space that once was Victoria’s Secret.
Katina Washington, SHE. Event Indy president and CEO, said many of the businesses can’t set up their own brick and mortar locations, so they are pooling their resources to help each other grow and find more clients. Washington hopes the store serves as a steppingstone for these businesses to open their own location, especially because Black businesses do not have as much access to physical stores.
There used to be many Black businesses along Indiana Avenue — where Washington originally wanted to set up shop — but now there is a lack of them. So, Washington is looking forward to bringing more Black local businesses to the heart of Indianapolis.
“There is definitely a need for more of a Black presence downtown, so this is an excellent opportunity for that to happen,” she said.
Vendors in the SHE. Xperience Department Store will offer a variety of products including handbags, accessories, bath and body products, candles and Down to Earth Tooth Dirt.
The tooth dirt — an alternative to conventional toothpaste made with 13 organic herbs — will be sold by Mothers Earth LLC, which makes and sells organic vegan skincare and oral care products. Mothers Earth founder Tia Scott originally made the product for herself in 2015, after she developed an allergy to toothpaste. She started selling the product in October 2015, after people she distributed samples to saw improvements in their oral health.
In addition to the five flavors and three types of the tooth dirt, Scott will also sell dental floss, bamboo toothbrushes, body oil, body scrubs, face cleanser and moisturizer. Scott said she is excited to move from her current store to the Circle Centre Mall location because she will get more foot traffic, which will help expose her products to more people and help them lead healthier lives.
“This will definitely broaden my customer base,” she said, “diversify it as well.”
The store will also have a makeup counter where customers can try on and purchase products from Joli Pretty Cosmetics, a cosmetics line created by a Black woman for Black women. Some of the products that will be offered are eyeshadow palettes, foundations and liquid lipsticks.
Cosmetologist Stephanie Baylor, who will be managing the counter, said she only wears Joli Pretty Cosmetics items because she loves that the foundations are made for Black women, who tend to have different undertones which makes it harder to buy from mainstream brands. She also loves the vibrant, pigmented colors in the lipsticks and palettes.
“A lot of good cosmetic lines, they have good products, but they don’t specifically have a line for Black women,” she said. “Joli Pretty Cosmetics came along and basically she introduced a line with Black women in mind as far as the lipstick colors, the different shades that go good with our skin and also the eye shadow colors.”
Baylor said she can’t wait to work at the SHE. Xperience Department Store because she will have the opportunity to help more women feel confident about their appearance.
“A lot of people wear makeup, but they are not sure how to properly apply makeup on their own,” she said. “I can educate them on the different skin products, different makeup application techniques so they are able to wear the makeup confidently.”
Contact staff writer Madison Smalstig at 317-924-5143. Follow her on Twitter @madi_smals.