Thalya Baptiste, MSU Spokesperson Staff Writer
For a long time, there wasn’t a beauty store within a five-minute drive of Morgan State University. As an HBCU, it is imperative that students have access to black hair care and supplies. In 2023, that’s finally changed with the opening of Beauty Plus at Northwood Commons.
Beauty Plus, a Black and Morgan alumni-owned beauty store, has a soft opening on December 26th and is gearing up for an official grand opening on February 11th.
Behind Beauty Plus are two HBCU alumni, a married couple, Quintin and Megan Lathan. Quintin, a graduate of Morgan State University, and Megan, a graduate of Bowie State University, understand how important it is for HBCU students to have access to black-targeted beauty and hair care products.
“We are the primary users of beauty products. We know the product. We know how it interacts with our hair and we can talk to it.” We are able to provide people with a personalized shopping experience that other cultures cannot offer in this element, and the general ownership and entrepreneurial spirit within the Black community is instrumental in the growth of our community as a whole. and is essential to progress,” said Megan Lathan.
Quintin Lathan talked about how blacks own less than 1% of the beauty products industry but 99% of the consumer base.
“Now you can shop in a shopping center, and even in an industry that doesn’t have a lot of ownership yet, it’s going to be the first African-American owned beauty store in that shopping center. Being able to do that is huge for us,” said Quintin Lathan.
The Lathan family is eager to come here and serve the Morgan and Baltimore communities. They’ve already seen an influx of students and see the excitement on their faces when they learn there’s a beauty supply store within walking distance of their campus.
Morgan students are now witnessing the rise of Northwood Commons after the university launched plans to revamp a nearby shopping center in 2018. The shopping center isn’t completely finished, but some locations are already starting to open.
The concept for the Northwood Shopping Center was drawn up in 1948. At this time, Morgan State University’s sixth president, Martin D. Jenkins, was taking up a new position from Howard University.
Originally, Northwood had a grocery store, laundry service, beauty salon, caterer, candy store, shoe repair shop, dentist and Reed’s Drugstore. Reed’s Drugstore later became a monument not only to the history of Morgan State University, but also to the history of African Americans.
The opening of Beauty Plus marks the beginning of a great era for Morgan State University as the school continues to grow and expand.
At Beauty Plus, shoppers can find braided hair extensions, edge control, and some top black hair care products.