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Howard Alumna Opens New Beauty Supply Store

Howard University alumna Lisa Comfort embarks into the beauty supply industry, providing a diverse range of products and fostering a welcoming environment.

Lisa Comfort poses in front of a cash register at her Beautie Essentials storefront on Georgia Avenue. (Tionne Thorton/The Hilltop)

In a rapidly evolving beauty industry, the ownership of beauty supply stores is undergoing a significant transformation. A notable aspect of this shift is the prominence of Korean-American entrepreneurs, who own more than 70 percent of the 10,000 beauty supply stores nationwide. 

Recognizing this transformation, some African-American entrepreneurs took it upon themselves to open their own beauty supply stores catering to the diverse needs of their communities and challenging the dominance of other supplies in the industry. 

Among these beauty supply store owners is Lisa Comfort, an alumna of Howard University, who stands out by carving her own path in the competitive beauty supply business. Comfort’s store Beautie Essentials can be found on Georgia Avenue just one mile from Howard University. 

Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Comfort had a stint as a fashion model for the legendary Chuck Brown. 

“I used to model in the DMV and I used to model in hair shows and fashion shows for Chuck Brown the famous go-go artist. After that, I started to model across the United States and it was my first love,” Lisa said.

With this first love, Comfort was still engaged in works surrounding hair and beauty which fueled her next endeavor. 

For Comfort, the store is more than a business venture; it’s a space where everyone, regardless of background or identity, is welcomed with open arms. She refers to local youths patrolling the street as her ‘security guards’, a testament to the familial atmosphere she strives to cultivate.

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“I love interacting with people. When I come across young guys, I greet them and ask how their day is going. Communicating with others is important, and I try to make them feel good around me. I treat people with respect and make them feel valued. When they leave, they feel good about themselves because of our positive interaction,” she said. 

When The Hilltop interviewed Comfort about her success, tears welled in her eyes, thankful that her alma mater thought to highlight her business. 

“The School of Communications taught me how to communicate with people because I love people. I am a self person by nature. When you walk through the door, there is not a time you won’t hear me greet you with ‘Hello beautiful’,” Comfort said. 

With two hair stores walking distance from campus, students still find it hard to find the proper products.

Tatiana Moore, a junior criminology major, is happy about the hair store’s opening because she believes that other hair stores lack inventory. 

“As a Howard University student, I frequented various hair stores around campus, only to be consistently frustrated by the limited product options. The struggle to find the right hair care items became a routine, emphasizing the need for a store like Beautie Essentials,” Moore said. 

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Shajada Simon, a junior majoring in legal communications, expressed joy and gratitude for the alumna’s current endeavor.

“I’m thrilled to see our alumna opening a hair store, catering to students with an expanded product range. It’s inspiring to witness someone breaking norms and making a positive impact,” she stated. 

Comfort went on to say that she hopes students will not give up on their dreams and pursue everything they desire. 

 “Do not listen to the stereotypes that say you can’t do it. You have to have the guts and the mindset because breaking into this field is not easy, so ask yourself do you have the mindset,” Comfort said. 

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell

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