Diann Valentine acquired Sol Beauty located at 933 North La Brea in Inglewood last November to provide the community with hair care needs such as wigs, cosmetics, body oils, lotions, jewelry and disinfectants.
“We knew we could not compete with the likes of Amazon, but we wanted to provide our customers with products and items for an abundance of their needs,” Valentine explained to Inglewood Today.
What Valentine was not aware of when she bought the store was that four months later the nation would be in the grips of the vastly spreading and potentially fatal COVID-19 coronavirus disease.
A monumental health crisis which has shut down America and most of the world and crippled small businesses like Valentine’s and wreck havoc on a once booming economy.
Sol Beauty normally stocks rubber gloves in abundance, but several days ago Valentine learned that one of her suppliers also had several cases of white medical facemasks.
So, she bought the masks during a time when the nation was scrambling for them for those on the frontline fighting the disease.
“My husband was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and I am a transplant here, we both thought this would be a great way to offer them to our community to protect themselves in this crisis,” Valentine said.
When word got out that Sol Beauty had such a rare and essential item, people came from near and far offering the buy all of the masks, but she refused to sell in bulk.
“I did not want to see someone price gouging people during a time like this. I knew that we wanted them for our community, so I refused to sell them that way,” she added.
Sol Beauty offers the masks to customers for $1.99 while others are selling it for $5 and $6 per item.
She stated that Sol Beauty wants to offer fair market prices to their customers on any item in the store and the masks would not be any different.
“Look at how this (COVID-19) is spreading! What we are doing here is just a small measure.”
One that potentially goes a long way in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and saves lives in a disaster that doesn’t appear to have an end in sight.