Sisters meet in the middle to launch beauty store where hair care is king – Salisbury Post
SALISBURY – For sisters Talaya and Tierra McManus, compromise comes naturally.
So it made sense that the siblings decided to meet between their respective homes in Winston-Salem and Charlotte to open a beauty store in Salisbury.
Located at 1953 Jake Alexander Blvd W, Unit B, J. Lorraine specializes in hair products for color and care, but sells everything from decorative headbands to hoops. The store opened in August with an event hosted by Livingstone College radio station WLJZ 107.1.
The name of the store is a tribute to the family members of Talaya and Tierra. The “J” comes from Jacqueline, their grandmother’s first name, and “Lorraine” is the last name of one of their great-grandmothers.
Talaya and Tierra said they decided to open House of J. Lorraine because they want to provide customers with an experience not found in other beauty stores.
“We care about other people’s hair,” Tierra said. “We try a lot of hair products, a lot of hair styles, and healthy hair in general is important to us. In our experience, when going to beauty stores, sometimes owners or employees do not have this first-hand knowledge of some of the products. We wanted to give our customers a different experience.
In addition to its convenient proximity, the sisters chose Salisbury for the store because they believe the market has not been fully exploited.
“There are other beauty stores in the area, but what sets us apart from other beauty stores is the vibe you get when you walk into the store,” Talaya said. “It’s fresh and open. We wanted to create a young, fresh atmosphere and a superb customer service experience.
It helped that Tierra got to know Salisbury after living in the city on her way to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“I told (Talaya) it would be a good neighborhood, not just because it’s halfway there, but because I love the city,” Tierra said.
When not behind the counter at House of J. Lorraine, Talaya and Tierra both work in education.
Talaya owns and operates Smarties LLC in Winston-Salem, a youth center that offers after school and summer programs and classes. She started the program in 2015 at home, but quickly added more clients and now has a physical location. Smarties has experienced a business boom since the start of the pandemic, with parents needing child care more than ever. Tierra, meanwhile, is a school counselor with Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
Talaya drives from Winston-Salem to open and run House of J. Lorraine in the morning and Tierra drives from Charlotte to take over for him in the afternoon. The sisters are not afraid of the journey. Talaya said she used it as a “happy” time to decompress and clear her mind.
While owning and operating the store has put additional strain on their already busy schedules, the sisters have both enjoyed the experience so far.
“When you do something that is a labor of love, you don’t feel like ‘Oh my god I have to start over,’” said Talaya.
It also gives them the opportunity to interact more often than they otherwise would, which they believe is an added benefit.
The beauty store is not the first joint venture between Talaya and Tierra. The sisters own and operate Luxxe, an online boutique for personalized clothing and accessories. They sell Luxxe products primarily through Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, but now Luxxe items, including their top selling shades, can now be found in House of J. Lorraine.
Having previously worked together, the sisters established a relationship that helped them start their new brick and mortar business.
“Our communication, which is extremely important both professionally and personally, is pretty good,” said Tierra. “We both communicate when it comes to stock, inventory, things we need or things we don’t have, or launching a sale on something very quickly so that we can bring new things. It was really good between the two of us. “
The sisters said they are constantly adjusting their inventory after trying products for themselves or hearing reviews from customers.
“The hair and beauty industry is constantly evolving and changing,” Tierra said. “While we have all of these things on hand, we haven’t used 100% of the items in this store. I haven’t used the men’s beard cream but we know of men who have used it, so we take feedback from customers who have tried things.
Maison J. Lorraine offers discounts to local barbers, hairdressers and hair braiders who may need additional products. The boutique is currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information about House of J. Lorraine can be found online at www.houseofjlorraine.com.