Tag Archives: economy

“Paying to Take Care Of Self”

Black women play a critical and influential role in driving consumer spending.

In many instances, Black women are the Chief Executive Officer of their household, with the responsibility for managing financial risks, planning, and record keeping.  Her children and family are the core of daily life, though she sometimes feels tired, frustrated and overwhelmed.

She is confident, strong and accomplished.  As the CEO and “money manager,” Black women have much to juggle between family, career and life’s daily demands.  These demands leave her limited time and resources.  This makes it challenging for Black women to have personal celebratory indulgent moments. Perhaps it is a workplace requirement, but Black women have figured out how to turn grooming into affordable indulgences — little luxuries.  These “little luxuries” are not selfish indulgences; instead they are moments of relaxation that make her feel good. 

Chief among these “little luxuries” are hair and nails.

According to the market research specialists at Mintel, Black women spend approximately $500 billion, (yes, BILLION!!) on hair care annually. To put that figure into perspective, that’s about 5 times larger than the gross domestic product of Puerto Rico. In fact, Black women spend more money on hair care than any other group.

These indulgences are not just about making herself beautiful.

She, perhaps more importantly, is paying someone to perform a service — an empowering indulgent reward whose end product is making her look and feel better. 

She pays someone to “do her hair.”

She pays someone to “do her nails.”  

When you see her, you recognize that she “paid to take care of self.”  I love that term.  My friend and colleague, Carol Sagers coined it.  “Getting your hair or nails done in a salon or spa is a luxury;  doing them yourself is grooming.”

Sagers is a dynamic leader with a track record of creating innovative marketing strategies that grow brands and businesses.

In my professional career, I have consistently made having a conversation with Black women integral to every strategy targeting the Black Consumer Market.  It is a guiding principle, one that all markets should pay attention to.

Links to some of my other blog posts about Black women and what motivates their consumer behavior are listed below.

Miss Recessionsita


African-American Women Offer Unparalleled Opportunities for Brands


The Role of Lipstick in a Depressed Economy


The Black Mom and The Barber Shop





“Ghetto Uber” or When S%*t Works Out

I had meetings in Los Angeles last week and flew into LAX.

I didn’t make arrangements to be picked up like I normally do, assuming that I’d order a ride from Uber when I landed.  I was surprised and disappointed to discover that Uber cannot pick up passengers at LAX.

So, I did the next best thing – stood in line for a cab. 

As I stood waiting a young brother approached me and asked if I needed a ride.  He was neatly dressed in a black suit with a white shirt, armed with an Ipad and had an outwardly friendly disposition. 

I told him yes, I did need a car and gave him my destination. He plugged the address into his Ipad and quoted me a fair based on the 20 mile trip. 

“All Love and Respect will get you there right away Sir, and much cheaper than a cab.”

Meanwhile the arrival area at Terminal 7 was absent of cabs and I was the sixth person waiting in an ever growing line. 

I thought to myself, why not give the young brother a try? 

I agreed to his terms.  He grabbed my suitcase, explained that a client’s flight was an hour and a half delayed, led the way to his car and off we went. 

His Lincoln Town Car was immaculate and the complimentary bottle of water was a nice touch.  The a/c was on full blast and the dulcet tones of Anita Baker provided the soundtrack for our ride. I spent the 1/2 hour car ride on my cell and ended my last call just as we pulled up to my destination. I thanked Taylor for getting me there so quickly. 

I am not in the habit of getting into unmarked cabs and I am certainly not the trusting type.  This experience proved that you can never judge a book by its cover.  It wasn’t Uber but it produced the same results.  A young Black Entrepreneur focused on giving superior service. The right time.  The right place. A chance encounter.

“Ghetto Uber” that demonstrated “all love and respect”…or a perfect scenario when “it” worked out?



White people have 13 dollars for every dollar held by Black Americans

Sobering statistics regarding African-American and Latino wealth from the Pew Research Center.


US dollar

“While the wealth of whites leveled off as the economy began to heal between 2010 and 2013, Blacks and Hispanics experienced continued decline.”


22% of Americans Are Already Christmas Shopping – Led By Multicultural Consumers


…but who is surprised?

“There are some positives heading into the holiday season: improving consumer confidence, lower gas prices and job gains, all of which should spur consumer spending, much of which will be led by multicultural consumers and large households.”

Click below for the full Nielsen article