(BALTIMORE – February 12, 2023) – Quintin and Megan Lathan, owners of Beauty Plus, have been working for years for a unique opportunity: to set up a beauty supply store near Morgan State University in Northwood Commons. They have been working diligently on it since the early days at their 2107 North Charles Street location.
They engaged elected and former elected officials, such as state Senator Antonio Hayes and former state Senator Joan Carter Conway. They kept their business going while all the while studying the trends in the industry and staying continually educated on the business of beauty supply.
So, to finally open up in Northwood Commons yesterday was nothing short of a dream come true. This power couple is proof positive of what can happen when two people are on the same page. With Valentine’s Day coming, they are a prime example of the power of love.
Northwood Commons, located adjacent to Morgan’s new Earl Graves Business School, is definitely on the rise. This resurgence has been long anticipated.
WEAA reported, “The vision of Northwood Shopping Center was created in 1948. At this time, Martin D. Jenkins, the sixth president of Morgan State College, was transitioning from Howard University into his new position. At its beginning, Northwood featured a grocery store, laundry service, beauty salon, caterer, candy store, shoe repair, dentist, and Read’s Drugstore. Read’s Drugstore would later become a monument in, not only Morgan State history but African-American history. The opening of Beauty Plus marks the beginning of a great era for Morgan State as the school continues to grow and expand.”
These HBCU grads – Quintin is a Morgan alum while Megan graduated from Bowie State – ought to be saluted for meticulously eyeing a most powerful business opportunity, and then lining their ducks in a row so that when the opportunity presented itself, they could seize the moment.
The Black beauty industry is extremely critical when one thinks about it.
Considering that Annie Turnbo Malone (August 9, 1869 – May 10, 1957), and her mentee, the more well-known Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove; December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919), pioneered the industry, what’s extremely alarming is that not enough Blacks own beauty supply stores. Consequently, many Black people shop outside of the community – thus preventing a recirculation of the Black dollar.
According to Neilsen IQ, “The annual value of Total Beauty + Skin sales for Black consumers stood at $7.42B at the end of April, according to NielsenIQ Omnishopper. Hair Care is the top category for Black consumers, with approximately $2.29B in annual sales. This is unsurprising, given the unique needs of textured hair types and the popularity of natural hair movement. Yet what is surprising is that the Facial Skin Care category is the least lucrative, making just $1.05B. Generating $1.94B, the Cosmetics and Nail Grooming category is also surprisingly weak, considering the size of the overall U.S. markets for both categories.”
“It has been a dream of mine since I was a youth to open a local neighborhood store, but I didn’t want to sell snacks, fast food or alcohol,” said founder and CEO Quintin Lathan, a product of Baltimore through and through. “Partnering with my wife, I knew that establishing a beauty supply store would be an excellent business opportunity to provide top brands for health and beauty to the Baltimore community. Our locations offer local delivery and online purchases to reach our global clients.”
Quintin Lathan graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 1998 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Morgan State University in 2004. He is a member of The Baltimore Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and serves as a board member for the Hillen Road Improvement Association (HIRA).
Megan Lathan is a proud graduate of both Mergenthaler Vocational Tech High School, located just South of the plaza, and the first HBCU in Maryland, Bowie State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and pledged Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
“My family has been living in the Ednor Gardens community since the 1970s and I grew up shopping in the previous beauty supply store that was in the shopping center,” said Megan Lathan. “I never imagined opening a beauty supply store because I never grew up seeing black people own a beauty supply store.”
“We have had many offers and opportunities to open a second location in the past six years, but we didn’t want a second location anywhere else except the new Northwood Commons. This opportunity means the world to us,” she said.