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Hidden Gems: Meet Dierra Crump of Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dierra Crump. Them and their team share their story with us below:

In 2020, during the CoronaVirus pandemic, Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store was created in effort to bring natural, healthy beauty and hair supplies to the community. Cherry’s is a black women minority-owned business started by a woman with a vision for hair care and beauty. The store was named after her mom, Kantina Cherry. Cherry’s is committed to supplying excellent service with the best quality for the price paid. It prides itself in offering a combination of high-quality products that’s also affordable. Its staff includes licensed cosmetologists and beauty advisors who can consult consumers and give them expert advice on hair and beauty products based on their own particular needs. Cherry’s use local and international suppliers to tend to all beauty needs whether one is White, African-American, Hispanic or Asian. It specializes in new trendy, high-end beauty, skincare, fragrance, nail, cosmetic and hair products. It often adds products that one can’t typically find in the average beauty supply store. Cherry’s is also committed to offering a plethora of men’s products and brands. In the near future, Cherry’s will offer makeup and hair braiding services to stay competitive as more and more beauty supply stores are offering makeup and other hair services. Currently, Cherry’s is accepting online and delivery orders until the store grand opening in October 2021.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The only struggles along the way is the Corona Virus and raising capital. The virus caused shutdowns and delayed licenses and other permits that we need when starting in the beginning. Currently, we’re waiting to get approved by grants from Maryland Small Business Relief and through the Baltimore Highland Business Association.

We’ve been impressed with Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store will primarily serve the Highlandtown Main Street area but a broader approach for the local Baltimore market. Cherrys will also target out-of-state consumers through its website and online presence. The demographics of Baltimore customers are as follows:

575,584 residents
Average income of $74,246 with a poverty rate of 21.21%
26.7 % married
49.6% labor force participation
56.7% employment rate
Median age: 34 years

Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store was started by the owner Dierra Crump. She received her Business Marketing degree from Towson University and pursued her Masters in Publication Design from University of Baltimore. She has over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing. More than ten years of experience in the fashion industry. Some of the positions she held in the fashion industry include Fashion Editor at Baltimore Magazine, Editor in Chief at Urcity Magazine and Director of Fashion Marketing for AP for Women. Her sister, Danielle Banks will be the store manager. She has over ten years of sales and retail experience, including five years of retail experience at Target and Walmart.

There is currently no high-end beauty supply store in the Highlandtown Main Street Arts & Entertainment District. Cherry’s handed-picked this location based on the need for beauty supplies in the area. Its location is in a high-volume area and will be highly convenient for foot traffic. In 2020, most of Baltimore was shut down due to virus restrictions. After a few months of not being able to get out of the house, consumers were running low on beauty supplies and personal care items. The only stores open were offering delivery service or curbside pickup. Cherry’s saw that opportunity to offer a beauty supply store delivery service. When all other beauty supply stores were closed, Cherry’s was hand-delivering and shipping beauty products to local consumers. As restrictions lessened in Baltimore, Cherry’s business was booming, which led Cherry’s to decide on opening a storefront, where customers can come inside and check out product selection from professional beauty advisors. In addition, it has surveyed the local population and received extremely positive feedback saying that they explicitly want to frequent Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store when it opens. Cherrys have already signed its lease and completed property buildouts, even though the pandemic held them back temporarily. It’s currently accepting online and pickup orders grossing about $8,000 per month with potential to double within a few short months, without even opening its doors for instore shopping.

Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store enjoys several advantages over its competitors:

Location: Cherry’s Beauty Supply Store’s location is near the center of the Highlandtown Main Street and Art’s & Entertainment District, giving access to local commuters, business owners, office workers, and passer-byers shopping in the area with over 6,000 diverse residents making up this thriving district. Cherry’s also offers adequate street parking making it easy for customers to patronize its in store pickup program or curbside service program which no other beauty supply store is currently offering. Cherry’s is directly located in a prime area where the majority of its customers residing are 34% Hispanic, 19.7% African-American, 42.3% White and 5% others. One thing that must be mentioned is that Cherry’s is one of the only beauty supply stores in Highlandtown Main Street District, therefore, giving it potential to monopolize the market as Song’s Beauty Supply store is old and fading away.

Online & Social Media Presence: Cherry’s website has attracted thousands of prospects with SEO keyword marketing through click impressions. Cherry’s has a Yelp Business page where it gets hundreds of leads from new customers daily. Customers rely on Yelp reviews and business profiles when deciding on a reliable beauty supply store. Cherry’s has a great reputation, tasteful photos and services offered on its Yelp Page. It receives 3-5 consumer-related calls per week referred from Yelp. Cherry’s is in the process of building its new social media platforms with over 140 new followers on Instagram and over 300 new likes on Facebook. Cherry’s have run small ad campaigns on Facebook from only $25-$50 budget’s on a seven days span and have retained customers from that promo. Cherry’s is considering adding a Youtube channel where it can post videos and tutorials of the product, thus providing a more personalized connection with its customers. Also, Cherry’s has another opportunity to increase revenues through Youtube if it reaches over a certain amount of viewers and subscribers.

Management Team: Cherry’s management team has over 10-15 years of sales, retail and marketing experience that allows them to market to and serve customers in a much more sophisticated manner than its competitors. Cherry’s will have on staff a licensed cosmetologists, who will serve as one of the beauty experts. Cherry’s management team has unique knowledge and firsthand experience utilizing and/or testing the majority of its products sold. Cherry’s has an advantage of exclusive knowledge and skills, which gives it an opportunity to recommend products to best fit the needs of its customers. This will show compassion and care to the customers, knowing that the staff has utilized the products and can warn of any side effects, concerns or recommendations. The beauty supply store industry is dominated by Asians, as Koreans own 70% of the beauty supply stores, with less than 10% of Asians actually using the products.

Relationships: Having lived in the community for over 25 years, Dierra, knows a lot of the local leaders, newspapers, magazines and social media influences. As such, it will be relatively easy for Cherry’s to continue to build brand awareness and increase customer base. Cherry’s have networked with local business owners in the area such as salon stylists, barbershops, nail salons and makeup artists to build relationships. Cherry’s partnered with Black Business Excellence doing popup shops in the Baltimore area. It partnered with the Patapsco Flea Market selling beauty & hair products while also building brand awareness. Cherrys joined the Highlandtown Business Association which promotes up-to-date Baltimore City policies & procedures, maintains appearance of neighborhood, supports promotions, greening enhancements, representing businesses on behalf of the association, helps with grant and business funding programs and elevates distinguished history as a welcoming place for immigrants and entrepreneurs. Cherry’s is also a part of the Highlandtown Community Association which helps Cherry’s receive resources it needs such as connecting it with city and state agencies for assistance with traffic, calming, illegal dumping, matters that impact daily life and coordinated weekly COP safety walks.

Products: Cherry’s Beauty Supply store will offer a larger selection of clean natural, cruelty-free and men’s products. There’s a huge trend for organic products in which price points are at a premium. Cherry’s will also support products catered towards the aging population, kid products/brands and curly/coily hair identified targets which a lot of beauty supply stores do not cater to. Cherry’s will also support brands and products that are making a positive change in the community.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Stay focused, put God first and don’t give up.

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