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Inspiring Conversations with Danelle McNeil of Melanated Beautie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danelle McNeil.

Hi Danelle, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
The thought of owning a beauty supply store passed my mind about five years ago. I started researching what would be needed to execute the vision. I soon let the thought go because I doubted I was capable of actually making it happen. Fast forward to 2019, a very vivid vision came to me of my Beauty Supply Store. It was so clear, I could see the store laid out and operating successfully. It was at that moment I knew GOD didn’t give me this vision to go in vain. I knew at that time I wasn’t financially ready to go full force with a brick and mortar so I further researched online beauty supply stores. I came across a drop shipping company that I thought would be an amazing opportunity.

I started what was called at that time, The Melanin Mane. It was going ok but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I wasn’t in control of products, customer service or pretty much anything in my business other than advertising. When the pandemic hit, I knew it was time for me to pivot. I stepped out on faith and began purchasing inventory to store in my house. I re-branded and launched Melanated Beautie in May 2021. My mission is to encourage, inspire, support and uplift women. I want women to know they are beautiful and to own it no matter what. Since launching, I have gained support from so many people. I have also been successful at vending at local pop-up shops around the city geared towards small businesses. My ultimate goal is to have a brick-and-mortar store with opportunities for local up-and-coming braiders to work and build the ire clientele. I want it to be a fun, welcoming and non-judgmental environment where people can come to shop for all their beauty essentials.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road at all. When I first started in 2020 with the drop shipping company, a lot of my customer’s packages took forever to arrive and I had no control over what to say or where they were. Also, during the journey to have my own, there were financial bumps in the road. I feel I wasted some money purchasing unnecessary inventory.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Melanated Beauty is an online beauty supply store in Baltimore. I provide hair care products and accessories for women, men and kids. I offer local pickup and delivery for Baltimore area customers and ship anywhere in the US. Women empowerment is a major passion and carries great meaning for my brand/store. I pride myself on providing exceptional (beyond Chic Fila lol) service for my customers. I want readers to know that my little store when soon become a large store that will provide great value to the community. I participate in give-backs and support many local non-profits. Melanated Beauty is for the community.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Hmmm. I really don’t believe in luck. Everything happens for a reason, when and how it’s supposed to. Faith and my belief in GOD play a major role in my business. I have certainly had some trials in my business but they’ve all been learning lesions.

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