New Natural Hair Boutique Marsh + Mane Opens In South Philly
By Rachel George
What’s worse than going to a huge beauty supply store and not being able to find what you’re looking for, on top of the fact that your first encounter as soon as you walked into the store was “unpleasant.”
No one in the store looks like you aside from other customers. You’re having a hard time explaining you want a shampoo with that’s sulfate free, has apple cider vinegar, and won’t dry out your roots after just two weeks. Us naturals don’t play when it comes to our hair care, especially when traveling.
For black women, our hair care products are a necessity, a part of who we are, and our identity. In 2017, the multi-billion dollar hair care industry had African-Americans spending $54 million on hair and beauty products. We’re always looking for the best products to help manage our kinky, curly hair and our melanated skin. For that, we needed a sanctum where we can have a pleasurable experience, check out a variety of products and return to again and again.
After a year of extensive planning, Philadelphia resident and public relations director Jenea Robinson birthed the ultimate solution, Marsh + Mane. Located on South Street, one of the most diverse business districts in the city, this natural hair care boutique is a sacred, inspiring space for black women.
“Basically, I wanted to create a beauty supply store that I actually wanted to shop in. I’ve been to other stores and got the experience that wasn’t necessarily tailored to us,” she said. “It’s just not inspiring, sometimes they have way too many products and not enough of what your actually looking for and I wanted to create that space.”
The rustic decor and wooden shelves inside feature everything from hair care to skin and beauty products. Don’t worry fellas, there’s a beard section for you. She wanted to offer a sacred space for people to come and shop but also sit down and chat while gaining a cultural hair care experience.
Paying homage to her parents’ southern roots, the name Marsh + Mane was inspired by the swamps of marsh she saw driving through Longwood, North Carolina, and Ohama, Georgia.
“I wanted to pay tribute to our roots in a beautiful way, without having to conjure up images of slavery,” she said. “This is our home, that’s how I feel about the south. This is our homeland, and I wanted to share that in the store.”
Marsh + Mane is open Monday-Saturday from 12 pm until 7 pm. The online store will be available early next month.
Robinson partnered with several few locals and international natural brands such as Curls, Bask and Bloom, organic skincare products from the Brown Crayon Project in Brooklyn, The Doux, island-inspired Natural Annie Essentials, Anita Grant’s Coconut Vinegar Rinse from the UK.
Are you looking for an early Valentine’s Day gift? Now is a great time to check out Marsh + Mane, located at 529 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA. Nothing says love like a box of coconut oil, shea butter, and some sage, only the essentials.