As a Black woman, when Rosie Chery needed hair care products, she found she had to travel to Kokomo, Lafayette, even Indianapolis to fulfill her shopping needs.
Finally, she decided to do something about that lack of product in Logansport.
She and her husband, Clive, opened their own business, Rosie & Clive’s Beauty Boutique, 29 S. Third St.
“It was not an easy process, but it was kind of cool,” Chery said.
There was a lot of paperwork, filing for licenses and ordering products from vendors.
But now Chery can stand proud in her little shop. There is a small but colorful collection of bags, clothing, shoes, hair extensions, hair care products, jewelry. Product names include Coach, Gucci, Bijoux Hair, Luster and PCJ.
There were a lot of sacrifices on the part of the family to get to the point where they could call themselves business owners, but Chery said it has been worth it. She hopes to see more minority businesses pop up in Logansport.
“Go for it,” she said of other minority residents who might be thinking of starting a business. “We need it in the community. We need it.”
Chery says the Logansport community has welcomed the business and points to Logan’s Landing, a nonprofit focused on downtown Logansport’s vitality, as an example. The organization took a picture with Chery and posted it on their Facebook page to welcome the shop. TheJan. 31 post has 256 likes, 71 shares and many comments welcoming the business to town.
Since the post, foot traffic has picked up at the shop, said Chery.
Becky Harris, executive director of Logan’s Landing, hopes that Rosie & Clive’s Beauty Boutique, alongside the small handful of other boutiques in Logansport, will help make the city a destination for shoppers who are perhaps looking for a “girl’s day out,” she said .
“We have a lot of representation of our Hispanic population and a little bit less representation from other minority groups,” Harris said. “That is a problem we need to recognize, and if there is a market for a particular kind of merchandise … it makes sense to identify a need and figure out a way to fulfill the need.”
Bill Cuppy, executive director of the Logansport Cass County Chamber of Commerce, said diversity was one of Logansport’s strengths and pointed at the variety of businesses that could be found through the area.
“You can see it through town with Haitian markets and Hispanic grocery stores and Guatemalan restaurants, so I think it is a real strength of ours,” he said. “People have stepped up and opened businesses.”
Harris said diversity was absolutely key to Logansport’s growing community. She said the city needed to recognize an obligation to reach out to newcomers and ask what they need in town in order to feel at home.
“How can you truly feel like you are welcomed or are at home in a community if you have to travel outside of the community to find items that you need?” Harris said. “We need to recognize that as well. It is part of welcoming people, making people feel that they are truly part of the community.”
Harris and Cuppy both pointed toward different ways that potential minority business owners might find assistance in setting up shop in Logansport. Harris said the Hoosier Heartland office of the Indiana Small Business Development Center, located in West Lafayette, was a great resource.
Cuppy said that while the Chamber of Commerce works with each business on an individual basis, they do try to connect minority business owners to state grants and assistance if those are available.
Rosie & Clive’s Beauty Boutique is open from 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, and from 10 am to 4:30 pm on weekends. They can be reached at 786-720-0521.