Soulful Strands: Woman Fills Void by Opening Sole Black Beauty Supply Store in Oregon

by Gee NY
Nichole Ashley Moss

Nichole Ashley Moss, an entrepreneur from California, has become a beacon of change in Corvallis, Oregon, by opening Soulful Strands, the city’s only Black beauty supply store.

Moss’s journey began when she and her family relocated to Corvallis, a city with a scant 1.39% Black population, as reported by the 2023 World Population Review.

Finding a lack of businesses catering to the needs of Black residents, especially in natural hair care, Moss took matters into her own hands.

Faced with the arduous task of traveling over 80 miles to Portland to purchase essential Black hair care products, Moss decided to take action.

Her frustration peaked after spending hundreds of dollars during each trip to stock up on supplies. The absence of a local beauty supply store prompted her husband’s suggestion to explore opening one themselves, igniting Moss’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Despite encountering challenges in securing a business loan, Moss forged ahead and inaugurated Soulful Strands on Nov. 11, 2023.

Situated downtown, across from a braiding shop in a college town with a diverse population, Moss found solace in the store’s strategic location.

Soulful Strands offers an array of products, including hair extensions, conditioners, accessories, and more, catering to the needs of Black women in the community.

Reflecting on her journey, Moss emphasized the importance of embracing one’s natural hair and providing accessible resources for Black individuals.

“For many years, Black people have not liked their hair; we’ve been told to straighten our hair and make it more presentable,” she told Blavity. “Your hair is like a plant. You got to water it, and if you don’t, it’ll die, like a plant. It’s causing me to learn a lot more working here.”

Looking to the future, Moss envisions expanding Soulful Strands into a larger storefront, offering an extensive range of beauty products, makeup, fashion accessories, African prints, and more. Her goal is to create a comprehensive one-stop shop that caters to the diverse needs of the community.

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