In Ypsilanti, a commercial block filled with women and women of color-owned businesses is being promoted as “The Beauty Block.”
Located at Ridge Center, 2925 E. Michigan Ave in Ypsilanti Township, these businesses aim to support and cross-promote one another as they continue to grow their establishments.
Established in 2009, Original Moxie is the longest-standing of the three current Beauty Block businesses. However, it didn’t move into the Ridge Center until February of 2023. It was recently joined by Anaya Beauty Salon, a high-end braiding business, and Forever Beauty Co., a salon and spa. It is now a suite of three beauty businesses.
“Together, our businesses are building The Beauty Block as a high-end beauty destination for the entire region,” Rachel Blistein, founder and CEO of Original Moxie, said. “By providing comprehensive, inclusive hair and skin-care services under one roof, we are filling a niche that doesn't currently exist in our community.”
The Beauty Block business owners are working to collaborate with other potential partners and services. This includes an additional woman-owned business moving in soon.
“In addition to attracting economic investment to the Ypsilanti area with specialty goods and services, we are also investing in outreach through free events such as our Self-Care Fair, and partnerships with nonprofits such as SOS Community Services," Blistein said.
The Beauty Block was not something that was planned, but the idea worked.
“It was unplanned,” Blistein said. “However, we [The Beauty Block business owners] clicked immediately and realized that we all shared a focus on a holistic, inclusive beauty as well as a committed, professional approach to running our businesses. The concept of The Beauty Block grew out of our planning of the First Annual Self Care Fair, which brought us together to promote and support all three businesses as a one-stop shop for elevated beauty services centered on diverse clientele.”
Blistein realizes that The Beauty Block’s businesses are even stronger than they are apart.
“Having complementary businesses under one roof is a huge lift for all of us. We benefit from increased foot traffic, shared clientele, and the synergy of our unique approaches to hair and skin care,” Blistein said.
The merger of these businesses has not only benefited but motivated the women of The Beauty Block.
"I am elated to have been granted the opportunity to collaborate with both Forever Beauty Co. and Original Moxie,” Rickeilia Shah, owner of Anaya Beauty Salon, said. "These women have a stellar work ethic and are passionate about inclusive beauty. This energy emanates throughout our humble plaza and has fueled me over the past few months.”
Through their collaboration, owners of The Beauty Block businesses are hoping to build their brands as they encourage clients to do the same.
"The beauty block is already so dear to me," Shah said. "To me, the beauty block means collaboration; it means cross-promotion. I am thriving personally and professionally being in a space where we allow each other to shine. Though we work in the same industry and target similar customers, we work together harmoniously. Personally, I promote the other businesses in my salon, and I encourage my clientele to render their support."
For more information on Original Moxie, visit their website.