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African Image Beauty Supply Salon Celebrates 30 Years In the Community
By Brian W. Carter, Crenshaw & Around Editor
Published July 20, 2017

Rebecca Opong
Courtesy Photo

On Saturday, July 22, African Image Beauty Supply Salon (AIBSS) will be celebrating their 30th anniversary grand re-opening sale.

Rebecca Opong opened her business over 3 decades ago wanting to bring hair care and more to the community. On Saturday, Opong hopes to meet-and-greet the community, old faces and new.

“It’s kind of like a giving back to the community,” stated Opong. “Meet new people, meet old people.”

There will be items on sale, music and refreshments for customers that come visit AIBSS on Saturday.

Originally from Accra, Ghana (West Africa) from a town called Suhum, Oppong sold African clothing when she was located on Crenshaw and Adams. She received her license in cosmetology from L.A. Trade Tech. At the time in the late 80s, hair products were in high demand especially for people of color, so she decided to go into hair and beauty products. She also realized that there were not many if any African Americans in this business.

One of the few Black-owned beauty supply businesses in the area, AIBSS has stood more than the test of time. The business sells all kinds of products from shea butter to black African soap as well as offering hair braiding services, weaves, African fabrics and movies.

Her daughter, Narkie Opong, when she’s not busy in school or at work, helps out at AIBSS along with her siblings. The Opong family have all put their love and time into supporting their mother’s business. Narkie has watched her mother run AIBSS through the years.

“It’s kind of like a one-stop shop,” said Narkie.

Opong is proud to have been operating within the community for three decades and credits her success to the black community.

Narkie wanted to stress one very important message that has become even more prevelant in recent years.

“Support Black businesses,” said Narkie. “We don’t have too many African American beauty shops and for Black women—that’s like our holy grail.

“For a shop to have been around this long and keep evolving, within itself, I think it’s great not only for the community but for the culture.”

AIBSS prides itself on being a business that is more about being a community experience than about making money. Although patronizing and doing business with community is the goal, Opong values the community more. She wants to make sure that AIBSS is offering a genuine experience the community can’t receive anywhere else.

Not only is [AIBSS] a Black-owned shop, it’s an African business,” stated Opong.

Ultimately, Opong looks forward to expansion across different suites in California and by Gods grace regional and internationally.

African Image Beauty Supply Salon is located at 1878 S. Western Ave in Los Angeles, CA 90006. It’s located on the corner of Washington and Western, next to the 7-Eleven. For more information, please call (323) 733-6383

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Local
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