The Black-owned beauty supply store has locations in South Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Compton.
By Ariyana Griffin
Inglewood native Lia Dias is the CEO of The Girl Cave LA, a Black-owned beauty supply franchise based in the Los Angeles area. The Girl Cave LA can be found in South Los Angeles, Inglewood, Compton, Anaheim and Texas and there are plans for more locations to open soon.
The Girl Cave LA isn’t just a beauty supply store; it’s a safe haven for women in urban neighborhoods. The aura is similar to a female barbershop.
“If you walk into one of our stores you'll hear conversations about being a mother and about work,” Dias said. “All these things that women have conversations about we’re having them in the beauty supply store.”
This store provides Black women with the comfort of roaming a beauty supply freely without being followed, harassed or ignored.
“I love coming here,” customer Tonya C. said. “They know exactly what I need for my hair and different hair types, and they are able to teach me what to use for my hair. It is not just about selling me a product.”
This type of safe haven is hard to find because Black-owned beauty supply stores are not that easy to come by.
“When I first started there were restrictions and reluctance to work with me.” Dias said.
Dias also explained that she often had to pay for many of the products upfront and in full,
“That is not the standard in this business,” she said. “Usually you get your product then you get your invoice 30 days later.”
This made the startup cost of The Girl Cave LA more than originally expected. Now five years later, trust has been established with distributors through paying on time and even early. Now she “sees more Black-owned beauty supply stores opening and they don't have the same barriers that I had.”
Dias wanted to open The Girl Cave LA as a way to give back to her community by providing jobs and resources. She has a background in social work and often blends it with her business as a way to help employees apply for college, build their resume and even possibly own a store. Ashli Brown was Dias’ first employee at the Inglewood location, and now she is a franchisee who owns the Compton location.
The location in Desoto, Texas opened last fall through the franchisee program. This is allowing The Girl Cave LA to grow like wildfire as it gives people in different states a chance to make their dreams of owning a beauty supply store come true.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed The Girl Cave LA’s growth. While many businesses in Los Angeles County have officially been closed due to the pandemic for a little over a year, The Girl Cave LA was not negatively impacted. Dias explained that the pandemic allowed them to think out of the box so they adhered to the guidelines to stay open and remain safe. New services now include curbside delivery, allowing customers to order online and even delivering locally to those near the beauty supply store.
In the beginning stages of the pandemic when many beauty supply stores were forced to close, Dias worried about how she would fulfill her financial responsibilities, such as payroll and rental payments. She also wanted to ensure that her employees were in a safe environment.
“Working during a pandemic was scary,” said Cierra Gunderson-Knox, an employee at the Inglewood location. “Due to the panic and lack of information surrounding the virus, we just had to stay as precarious and follow all safety procedures. I wore two masks, a pair of gloves and kept Lysol wipes near me to wipe all surfaces down after every customer.”
The Girl Cave LA is located at 1855 W. Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles; 10901 Crenshaw Boulevard, Inglewood; 922 S. Central Avenue, Compton; 1301 E. Rosecrans Avenue, Compton; 1215 Beach Boulevard, Anaheim; and 1100 E. Pleasant Run Road, Desoto Texas.
For more information visit www.girlcavela.com and follow the store on social media.