Step into the one-stop shop for all things natural hair and feel inspired by their empowering mission – 100% of the My Shade & Texture‘s hair products are for natural hair – an initiative to provide a space for Black women and men to embrace their natural coils and kinks.
“There are 1,000s of beauty supply stores around the country; however, there’s a small fraction that is owned by African Americans, said the founder and owner of My Shade and Texture, Pamela Thompson. “And then it’s even smaller when it comes to a beauty supply store that just caters to textured hair.”
That’s when Thompson took it into her own hands “to specifically have a beauty supply store and salon that catered to textured hair. I wanted to promote and bring in as many black-owned brands and get them connected one-on-one with the consumers.”
As someone who has natural hair herself (hair that is not changed or altered to conform to Eurocentric standards of beauty,” stated by NaturAll), Thompson is rectifying the natural hair experience for Black women and men because “there was a need there,” says Thompson. “Just a space that was created for women and men.
To access the hair products that care for natural hair, Thompson had to purchase products online or wait for trade shows.
“So, it was my mission from the beginning to get these black-owned brands connected with their number one consumer, which was black women who have natural hair.”
Her mission did come to light, but not without obstacles along the way. To get the business on its feet, Thompson had to “make personal sacrifices to make sure that this business is going to operate as efficiently as possible.”
When her business was officially founded in 2019, she faced another obstacle a few months later due to the pandemic and civil unrest. However, Thompson was “quickly able to pivot” and grow the success of the store by implementing services like virtual shopping, curbside pickup, contactless delivery, and virtual events.
They continue to provide these services today because of all the success and growth that came with them.
“In November of this year, My Shade & Texture will be celebrating our three-year anniversary,” says Thompson.
And with all the personal sacrifices that went into it, Thompson created more than just a beauty supply store – she created a community.
“I live in the community, so it’s only important that I give back to my community – they’re pouring into me, so I reciprocate that by pouring back into them,” says Thompson
She regularly participates in community events and works with organizations and businesses that align with the store’s mission.
“One thing that we do at the My Shade & Texture is we allow small business owners to come in and display, showcase or sell their products,” says Thomson. “We actually have opportunities where their products can be on our shelf. So for startup businesses – giving them the floor and giving them the spotlight that they deserve to showcase their products.”
Thompson’s successes don’t go unnoticed, she was recognized for her preservation during the pandemic by the Tampa Bay Times. She was also featured in several other publications, including ABC Action News, WFLA BLOOM TV, and FOX 13. As a member of the organization Black Girls Venture x Visa, an initiative to support the empowerment of Black and Brown women-identifying entrepreneurs, she was also recognized for her talent in the industry at the Super Bowl LV alongside a group of other inspiring Black women.
“I’m not doing this for the recognition – this is just something that I truly have a passion for,” says Thompson. “So when I’m recognized by my peers, or you know, huge organizations like Black Girls Venture and Visa, or even a brand that I carry in my store, or customers that come in – it’s just very humbling. It’s hard, it brings me to tears, but it just lets me know that, you know, my work is not done.”