An ‘empowering’ studio space and marketplace for Black-owned businesses is set to open on the edge of Manchester city centre.
The pioneering BlackOwned Studios + Marketplace will open at Manchester’s Red Bank arches in November and will create co-working spaces for Afro-beauty stylists as well as offer a wide range of Black-owned beauty products for people to buy.
The space will also be used to host events, panels, and workshops. Curated by Efia Mainoo, the ground-breaking initiative was born from a deep-rooted commitment to create an inclusive and supportive environment within the beauty industry and address issues of inequality.
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Recent research has identified that only 0.7% out of 45,000 salons in the UK catered towards Afro and textured hair, leading to a limited lack of resources for both Black stylists and customers.
The co-working studios will feature flexible and private pod spaces which can be booked out by beauty professionals to use as a hub for their business. The marketplace will also allow people to buy a range of beauty, haircare and skincare products from Black-led businesses.
Founder and CEO Efia said: “BlackOwned Studios + Marketplace is more than just a business – it’s a movement. Our mission is to empower, inspire, and celebrate the beauty of Black beauty, by uplifting stylists and fostering connections between all members of the beauty industry.”
The initiative is being supported by FOUND, who have worked with property developers Far East Consortium (FEC), to create the Red Bank neighbourhood of restaurants, business venues and bars including Foundation Coffee House, Love Factory and Fairfield Social.
Jake Scott-Thrale, Asset Manager at FEC, said: “The ethos of FOUND has always been to create inclusive and accessible spaces where the local community can come together to network, socialise, and be creative. We’re really excited to partner with BlackOwned Studios + Marketplace in the next leg of this journey.
“Manchester’s bustling and diverse community is at the heart of all we do, so it’s crucial to us that local residents have access to important initiatives like this one, which is working to showcase the city’s best and brightest black-owned businesses.”
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