Lia Dias, ultimate #browngirlboss and serial entrepreneur, is all about empowering women and influencing the current scope of the beauty industry. This Inglewood native is the proud owner of The Girl Cave Los Angeles, a beauty bar, boutique and showroom, which opened July of 2016. She is also the owner of a juice bar, a real estate mogul, and former model. Her newest venture entails expanding The Girl Cave Los Angeles brand with the opening of The Girl Cave LA, beauty supply at 1855 Manchester Blvd. (one block west of Western Ave). The new location opened in April to a resounding success. Dias’ brand is not just about beauty but about empowering women and girls to follow their dreams.
What influenced you to open a Black-owned beauty supply?
I had become increasingly frustrated with the treatment I received while in Asian-owned beauty supplies. I saw an opportunity to provide products while providing a high level of service and wanted to take a shot at making it work.
What difficulties (if any) have you run into? Do you find yourself in any way blocked by the dominant Asian community? Is it difficult to stay price competitive?
The hardest thing I encountered starting the business was the distributors unwillingness to extend me credit. I was forced to have the capital upfront whereas other beauty supplies are afforded a 30-day accounts payable which allows them to purchase more upfront and gives them time to repay their account. I have been fortunate because the community has supported the business in a way that has allowed us to add to our product variety on a weekly basis.
What differentiates you from other similar businesses?
I think the most important difference is the experience that I insist my customers receive. We don’t follow anyone around the store with a cloud of suspicion. Additionally, our team loves to try new products so we can have feedback for customers when they inquire about a certain product and it’s effectiveness.
What is your commitment to the Black community?
I am committed to employing Black women as well as carrying Black-owned hair and skin care products. Additionally, with the growth of the business I have expanded my philanthropy. We have a social media campaign called “Do Good Thursday.” Every week my team and I select a person, group, or organization to give back to, based upon email submissions. We have been able to help local non profits, sports teams and families that need it most.
What advice do you have for others who want to open beauty supplies?
I advise anyone who wants to open a beauty supply to do your homework. Establish relationships with multiple vendors so you don’t get “locked out” of the market. Last and most importantly, be bold and don’t allow vendors or the competition intimidate you.
How has your life changed since breaking into this business?
Life has absolutely picked up in pace. It is a rewarding workload as there is a pride that I take in watching the business and my employees grow.
Anything else you would like the community to know?
That we appreciate their support thus far and we are open everyday from 8:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. The Girl Cave LA also takes online orders at www.girlcavela.com and can be followed on social media @girlcavela