Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Jenea Robinson, founder, Marsh + Mane
Why This Philly Beauty Supply Store Is Selling Majority Black-Owned Products
When Jenea Robinson opened Marsh + Mane in 2018, her vision of creating a space that gave Black women the shopping experience they deserved came to life.
“I noticed that for Black women, we could get a luxury or more curated experience in many areas of our retail lives, but that didn’t exist within the beauty supply industry,” Robinson told Travel Noire. “We could go to Whole Foods, for example, to have a certain type of experience, a hotel, and even a clothing store, but in the beauty supply space, that didn’t really exist.”
So Robinson, a natural hair enthusiast, changed that with Marsh + Mane. The beauty supply store, located in Philadelphia, is a natural hair and lifestyle boutique that pays homage to Robinson’s ancestral roots.
“My parents and my grandparents were from Georgia and North Carolina. I grew up spending summers down there and that’s where the marsh comes in because its marshy lands and the mane, of course, is hair,” she said.
When you walk in, one of the first things you will immediately notice pictures of her mother, aunts, and relatives behind the register. It’s her way of surrounding herself with strong Black women as well as paying respect to women who she says embody natural hair beauty. The other thing you’ll notice is the smell, which Robinson said is intentional.
“I’m always burning candles, sage, or incense. I wanted a fully immersive experience. I want you to feel relaxed. This is very important because I’ve noticed that when we are shopping for products, we are usually in some sort of state of anxiety because we’re trying desperately to find something to fix an issue or fill a need. If you’re already experiencing a heightened level of anxiety, I wanted the space to be calming.”
Marsh + Mane offers various products for Black hair but one thing you’ll find that is consistent is her commitment to selling a majority of Black-owned products.
“As you know the beauty supply industry, in terms of ownership, is dominated by people who are not Black. There are lots of products that are owned by us and made by us, but we do not control the distribution of these products. It was important to me to bring these brands into a store and have them being sold by a Black woman,” said Robinson. “What I also love about that is it allows me to bring in independent brands who may not have shelf space at larger stores.”
As one of the few Black-owned beauty supply stores in Philly, Robinson has created a one-of-a-kind experience for Black women for their everyday hair needs.
If you’re not in town to visit in person, she offers shipping nationwide and in some countries outside of the U.S.
Follow the store on Instagram for product and shipping information.