Beverly Mascoll, a Pioneer in Haircare and Beauty Products for Black Women, was born in Nova Scotia and then moved to Toronto in 1957, where she attended Central Technical School and later worked as a secretary at a beauty supply company.
Mascoll’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to start her own beauty supply business, which was born out of a lack of haircare products for Black men and women in the market. Despite being denied loans from banks who didn’t believe in the market for Black beauty supplies, Mascoll invested her own $700 and adapted by selling products out of her car. Over the next two years, she built relationships with local salons and a customer base that would grow into a community she would come to serve and support.
Mascoll flew to Chicago to make a deal with Johnson Products, the first Black-owned business to be publicly traded in the US. She asked if her business could be Johnson’s Canadian distributor, selling a special line of Black hair products and the rest is history!
In 1973, Mascoll opened her first store, which became a refuge and a place where Black women could get information, community and support on how to manage and style their hair. Mascoll Beauty Ltd. grew into a multi-million-dollar company within 12 years and distributed to approximately 350 hairdressers and retailers across the country. Mascoll’s business expanded to include beauty demonstrations and conferences, professional hair care seminars, and she even held the first ever Black beauty trade show in Canada in 1984. By 1985 her business was Canada’s largest supplier of ethnic beauty products.
Beverly Mascoll’s story is a testament to the power of Adaptability, this year’s Skills for Success theme. Despite facing obstacles and being denied support from banks and no one believing there was a real market for Black beauty supplies, Beverly Mascoll found a way to build a successful business and create a space for Black women to thrive in the beauty industry