Nine entrepreneurs created a beauty co-op to survive COVID-19

Posted at 7:30 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 11:03:24-05

MOUNT AIRY, OHIO -- Nine business owners in Mount Airy have banded together and created a beauty co-op business as a way to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entrepreneurs’ business model is a one-stop beauty bar and boutique where all nine businesses operate under one roof.

Defined Boutique and Beauty Bar is located at 5553 Colerain Ave. The building, which is more than 1,500 square feet, houses nine different businesses. However, the business owners all have the same mission --making sure their clients are beautiful.

“You can purchase hair extensions or a wig, jewelry, lash supplies and eyelash strips. We have a makeup artist that offers a lot of makeup services,” said Defined Boutique and Beauty Bar owner Yemaya Jones.

Defined is home to lash artists, estheticians, wax artists, makeup artists and several fashion and accessory boutiques. Jones said she decided to open the co-op in September after realizing she could only find retail spaces that were large.

“I wanted to utilize the space as best as I could and add as many people as I could,” she said. “Even though we have all of our rooms filled, I started offering for ladies to put their display cases in here and fill them up with whatever they sell."

Jones said she saw a need for women entrepreneurs in her community.

“I get to see these ladies start their dreams. A lot of them are actually scared or they don’t want their own space, or they don’t want to be on their own,” she said.

Savanah Cocagne, owner of Savy Esthetics, said she began doing lash extensions with Jones when Jones was operating a smaller boutique two years ago.

“When I was building my business, I did it out of my apartment,” said Cocagne. “I really didn’t know that I was going to do this full time. I thought I was going to go to college, but it had really just taken over my life.”

Cocagne and Jones both said that having all the women-owned businesses together in one space has helped keep the doors open, especially amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“We support each other and we promote each other. We help each other grow,” said Jones. “To see that scaredness fly out the window and they are here succeeding -- it means so much to me.”

Here’s a list of all the entrepreneurs and businesses you can find at Boutique and Beauty Bar: