Dana White rewrites history as first black woman in U.S. to franchise a salon business

Dana White rewrites history as first black woman in U.S. to franchise a salon business

Spending up to six hours just to get hair done is sort of the norm for black women, inspired by walking into a Dominican salon and just spending an hour thirty minutes was an eye-opener for White, this experience inspired the establishment of her salon Paralee Boyd, a Walk-In-Only Natural Hair/ Blow-dry salon- to solve for a problem that women with thick and curly hair were facing everywhere having to spend their whole day in the salon. Paralee Boyd, named after her grandmother provides timely, quality hair care

In 2012, the Detroit-based salon owner opened the first location of Paralee Boyd in Southfield, MI, now White who owns two salons in the Detroit area makes history as the first Black woman in history to franchise a salon business. White plans to have 20 locations in two years, and 100 locations within five years.

“We are changing how women with thick and curly hair view their time, their dollar, and themselves,” says White. “All of our future franchise locations will use our unique approach of collecting data to streamline the salon process, just like manufacturing businesses do.”

“What can an efficient, confidence-building salon do for women who look like me? That’s my ‘why,’” White told CNN. “That’s the drive. I’m just so excited to be a revolution in haircare.”

The salon, named after White’s grandmother, Paralee Boyd, opened in 2012. Today, the company has locations in Southfield and Midtown Detroit.

The Paralee Boyd concept is based on teachings from White’s grandmother coupled with White’s process of lean manufacturing inspired by the auto industry. As a result, Paralee Boyd is able to operate as a walk-in only salon.

“We are changing how women with thick and curly hair view their time, their dollar, and themselves,” says White. “All of our future franchise locations will use our unique approach of collecting data to streamline the salon process, just like manufacturing businesses do.”

During the pandemic, Paralee Boyd earned the top prize in the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day, an annual pitch competition that invests over $1 million into Detroit-based, early-stage companies with an ambition to scale.

“Dana’s vision and passion are second to none, and she is breaking new ground for Black women in the beauty industry,” says Asahi Pompey, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. “As a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, we are so proud of Paralee Boyd’s incredible growth.”

The Kalamazoo native and attended Western Michigan University. White graduated from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program and is part of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Access Network inaugural cohort.

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