The Illinois Small Business Development Center for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is celebrating the growth of Elure Beauty Supply in Fairview Heights.
Owner and Chief Operating Officer Samantha Carter has worked with the SBDC and Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May to successfully overcome the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic to expand the business.
With 20 years of experience working in the hair industry and owning a full-service salon, Carter continued on her entrepreneurial path and opened Elure Beauty Supply in July 2017. Since then, Elure has taken pride in offering customers the highest quality beauty and barber supplies, hair extensions, and health and fitness products, which includes her own health and fitness product line, SaTreice.
Additionally, Carter is a certified hair loss and body-contouring specialist, and works as a cosmetology teacher for the state of Illinois.
“Beauty and education are what I know,” Carter shared. “In the beauty industry, you often see a lack of education. One of my main objectives is to get out into the community and teach. I have been fortunate to share my knowledge and educate others through my work.”
As for many small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic took a drastic toll on Carter’s business. She has faced difficulties with her lease and only qualified to receive a small amount of government assistance. She reached out to Paul Ellis, city of Fairview Heights director of economic development. Ellis assisted Carter, and connected her to DiMaggio May and the SBDC.
DiMaggio May provided guidance in maintaining Carter’s business. DiMaggio May suggested doing curbside service and ramping up her e-commerce, as well as various ideas for increasing exposure in the community.
“Paul is a resource,” Carter said. “He knew exactly how to help. Jo Ann’s assistance was valuable every step of the way. Communication was timely and always made simple. All of my questions were answered in detail, and the information I received made all the difference.”
“Ms. Carter was eager to listen and willing to take suggestions to pivot and grow,” DiMaggio May said. “Elure Beauty Supply and its customers are Carter’s focus, and she is determined to ensure the operation’s stability. With this level of resolve, Elure Beauty Supply is sure to be around a long time.”
On Aug. 1, Carter expanded to a new location at 710 Lincoln Highway in Fairview Heights.
“As a minority-owned business, I knew it was non-negotiable to close my doors or give up. This is something I pushed for, because it is something I truly believe in,” Carter shared.
Carter feels as if the pandemic was a blessing in disguise, as it provided the opportunity to sit down and figure out how to move forward with her business, plans, and goals. This eventually led to expansion to a new location with more exposure and immense community support.
Carter feels extremely fortunate to be part of the Fairview Heights community. Despite being a business owner for more than 20 years, Carter was terrified to start something new by opening Elure. Nevertheless, she knew it was what she was meant to do, and what the area and public needed.
“What has come with Elure is personal growth,” Carter shared. “I realized that even being outside of my comfort zone, I can continue to grow. It has been incredibly rewarding, and despite the challenges, I am eager to continue on this path.”
Carter has ideas to evolve the business concept into a one-stop shop. She plans to bring together the salon and beauty supply store experiences, with a mix of fashion and accessories to offer customers.
In upcoming years, she plans to expand through the Metro East into St. Louis and hopes to expand nationally, as well.
Contact Elure Beauty Supply at (618) 213-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit elurebeauty.com or on Facebook and Instagram at @elurebeauty.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures as well as existing businesses like Elure Beauty Supply, headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
To learn about the SBDC, contact the Illinois SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at (618) 650-2929.
PHOTO: Elure Beauty Supply Owner and Chief Operating Officer Samantha Carter.