After natural hair enthusiast and product junkie, Frankesha Watkins became fed up with her experiences of unfair treatment in the world of beauty supply stores, she took her passion into her own hands. Watkins made the decision to push ethical products she stood behind, and to educate others about hair care- which led to the beginning of B Polished Beauty Supply.
Born in Louisiana and raised in Washington State, Watkins grew up with a mother who taught her the importance of maintaining natural, healthy hair at a young age. She prides herself on her knowledge, and for being a part of the natural hair movement.
“Having healthy hair was always a part of me and it stuck with me as I grew up. When the natural hair movement became prevalent, It was something I studied. I made my own products and told other people how to grow their hair. I became a resource for people,” Watkins said.
While being a long time admirer of the beauty supply atmosphere, Watkins found the idea to start her own through her interactions with store employees, as well as fellow shoppers. While the people who worked there were typically unfair and only concerned with profits, she found joy in helping others find the right products for their hair textures and particular issues.
“Going into beauty supply stores was something that I’d always loved to do, but sometimes in these stores, you’re not always treated fairly. I asked myself, I could either complain about it or do something about it,” Watkins said. “Women would ask questions like, ‘What do I get for this particular issue?’ I had to educate them instead of the people who worked there, so I decided I may as well open my own store.”
Along with being the only current black-owned beauty supply store in the Arlington, Texas area, Watkins’ business has a different purpose than those of her competitors.
“I pride myself in offering amazing customer service to every customer that comes into our store. I carry a lot of black-owned/women-owned brands which is important to me because I’m a black woman, and it's important to provide products that are gonna be for us, and that helps our women,” Watkins said.
Candice Coppin, a beauty advisor for B Polished, enjoys the day to day interactions she has with customers and helping educate them about hair care.
“I help provide our customers with a comfortable environment to shop in. I greet everyone that walks through our door, answer any questions they may have about our products and help them choose what's best for their hair,” Coppin said. “I enjoy using products from our store and seeing how each product works for my hair. This way, I am able to tell our customers how the products work, especially if the customer has the same texture hair as I do.”
In the 8 month’s she’s worked here, Coppin has learned a ton about natural hair care.
“I have learned what products work best for certain hair types, and what ingredients to look for in products that promote hair growth, and healthy hair,” said Coppin.
With a bachelor's degree from Grambling State University in computer information systems, Watkins never expected to own a beauty supply business. However, after celebrating a year of success on January 17, 2020, she couldn't be happier with her choices.
“Entrepreneurship among black women is increasing. It means the world to me to be a part of a movement in black businesses, ownership, and beauty supply space,” Watkins said.
Coppin is honored to work for a company like B Polished where strong ethics back the company’s missions.
“Working at B Polished is empowering because it's black owned and owned by a black woman. I was so glad when my friend told me about B Polished, because I needed some hair products and wanted to show my support to the business- and my visit to the store was how I became an employee,” Coppin said.
With plans to franchise in the near future, Watkins hopes to spread the B Polished mission across the country.
“I’ve had several requests to franchise my store in Atlanta and Houston and other parts of the US. I do want to expand to have multiple stores- a couple here in the metroplex and one back home in Louisiana,” Watkins said.
Watkins encourages young people to pursue their passions even when they believe they are fighting the norm.
“Just because a market is oversaturated, doesn’t mean that there’s no room for you. I think that if you create a brand that people love, a brand that people believe in you’ll always have a customer base regardless of what industry you’re in,” Watkins said.