How and why did you start B.O.B.S.A.?
BOBSA started in 2004. The main reason is that before I got B.O.B.S.A. started, I was a small manufacturer making my own product line. I had created several brands of products. My first brands were European Silky Wrap, Off Da Hook and For Mixed Hair. I used to sell products directly to beauty supply stores and black hair distributor. Over the last 35 to 40 years, Koreans made an intentional impact on our market. Therefore, it was very difficult for black manufacturers to sell products directly into the independent beauty supply stores because they were controlled by the Koreans. Feeling frustrated, I spent two years going back and forth to Brazil trying to sell my brand of products. Then I wondered why I should go outside of the United States to try and sell black products in to another part of the world.
How many members does B.O.B.S.A have?
We have approximately 5,000+ members and network partners, 25% of those are actual members. The other associates are companies and vendors that offer services: beauty supply stores, online stores, hair distributors, salons, independent sales reps, and barbershops. We have them in our network to support industry needs.
What are the benefits in joining B.O.B.S.A?
There are many benefits for being a member of B.O.B.S.A. Our strong asset is having the knowledge and history of our industry. We are the “go to” association for beauty supply startups or individuals who create or want to create a product brand or hair brand such as bundle synthetic, braiding hair, and wigs, etc. We connect with potential business owners and can help them with the following:
Create an advertising program for their new product;
Develop -a business plan;
Assist in finding financing for the project.
For a new product, we assist with finding sales reps to help sell the products, or we help with marketing initiatives, including designing and developing websites. We can even help find an attorney. These are just some of the things we offer. We are a one-stop, black hair care industry information service!
Let’s discuss the Mission and Vision Statements of B.O.B.S.A
B,O.B.S.A’s mission is to establish African American and Black owned beauty supply stores nationally and internationally. We are advocates for black institutions that depend on beauty supply stores and their distribution networks for support to operate competitive hair care services in the black community.
B.O.B.S.A is the premier national organization that provides African Americans with the platform to demonstrate competitive leadership in the $9 billion-dollar Black Hair Care & Cosmetic Industry nationwide and internationally. As a major modern American industry founded by African-American women, it is our responsibility in honor of their entrepreneurial spirit, to distinguish ourselves by demonstrating ethical leadership in commanding ownership in this arena. We endorse integrity and respect in all facets of this industry, in business endeavors and in service to our community. We recognize, value, and seek out those individuals and businesses that have a positive impact on related traditional and new hair care institutions. We are motivated by and have embraced the motto “Connecting the Black Dots”.
Do you have other operation bases throughout the country, other than in California?
Yes, we are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We actually started in Oakland, California where most of the black beauty supply stores were located. Our first meeting was at a Denny’s restaurant in San Leandro, a suburb of Oakland. A Chapter in Cincinnati, Ohio opened six years ago. One of our goals for 2019 is to open more chapters across the country. We’re looking at Atlanta, Georgia to be the next location.
Are there any other organizations that have the same core values as B.O.B.S.A and that you
partner with that could benefit our audience?
Yes, there have been many organizations over the last 15 years with which B.O.B.S.A has tried to partner. One was Black Wall Street in, Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Beauty Institute Of Atlanta, Georgia. Reoccurring concern we have encountered is focused on making money for themselves rather than thinking about the black haircare industry and its future. During the past 5 years, there have been a rash of black associations that focused on the black haircare industry. Most recently the black Chamber of Commerce in Beaufort, South Carolina, is trying to get involved to support our industry.
What are the different categories for membership?
We have several membership categories to serve all segments of the black hair and beauty industry:
* Beauty Supply Stores
We focus first on beauty supply stores. Then we had to figure out a way of getting black entrepreneurs more interested in becoming distributors. This piece is more difficult because it takes a lot of capital to open a beauty distributorship. However, we can help them on a smaller scale to discover individuals who want to be hair distributors, which is different from selling
wet-goods, such as shampoos, conditioners, relaxers, etc.Click Here: HOW TO BECOME A U GO GIRL BRAND HAIR DISTRIBUTOR
Our definition of the term manufacturer is an individual who wants to create a private label by using a company that creates private labels for many companies. They will create products for individuals to sell. We help them with all aspects of making that happen from design to finding a private company project. Also, we help them market their products to the user and get distribution in the various beauty supply stores. We can even help them find reps to assist with selling their brand to the consumer.
Wholesale distributors are basically beauty distributors and wholesalers sometimes listed as an individual we call wagon jobbers. They service salons and barbershops. One good examples of wholesale distributors are All In One Beauty Distributor Atlanta, Georgia. They have beauty supply stores, services salons, and sell to other beauty supply stores. There are many other beauty supply stores that serve as distributors as well as independent sales reps who sell exclusively to salons.
In the last five years, barbershops have really increased their services and presence in the black haircare industry. They do a lot more than cut hair and are actually having barber competitions. The shops are more profitable and are looking for better ways to serve their customers and become more competitive. From this observation, we have come up with an idea to launch the Black Box Barber Caddy for barbershops, salons, and natural shops.
This category is very unique because you have braiding salons that are not licensed. In some parts of the country, they strictly do hair braiding and natural hair styles.
*Private label / Creates your own brand
*Do you offer discounts for students attending beauty and barber schools?
We have set up a special discount program called Consumer Membership Card Program, which is designed to help students. We have partnerships with 5 to 10 black manufacturers that offer special discounts from 5% to 25% off of their suggested retail price.https://bobsa.org/product/the-b-o-b-s-a-preferred-consumer-membership-card/
For those interested in finding out more about B.O.B.S.A, how can they reach you?
They can call us at 650-863-3491, or email email@example.com. The BOBSA website, Ask B.O.B.S.A, is where you can request information. They may also send private messages via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.