By John Mickens
It is a well known fact that Inglewood is the epicenter of beauty supply stores in Los Angeles. Inglewood has the most beauty supply stores and salons per family than other surrounding cities in Los Angeles County. Amidst all of the people that have entered and exited the industry over the years, one woman has been a pillar of service, expertise and experience through the years. Her name is Shirley Bell. Shirley started her career in beauty over 40 years ago in Compton to work for Handy’s Beauty Supply, which was a black owned beauty supply store. Although she worked in Compton, her heart was always in Inglewood as she and her family lived in Inglewood and her children are graduates of Inglewood High School.
About 15 years ago, she transitioned her career to work for Sol Beauty Supply in Inglewood. With Shirley’s vast knowledge of market, products and the industry as a whole, Sol Beauty quickly became a favorite shopping destination for the women and men in Inglewood. Black women are often assigned the role of ‘Muva’ ‘Auntie’, ‘Sis’, ‘Confidante’ and ‘BFF’ and Ms. Shirley has carried all of these titles. She understands that her presence is an extension of every black mother – a role that she embraces with grace and compassion. Shirley’s motherly smile and direction on how to treat one’s hair, face and body over the years as well as a few ‘Jewels of Wisdom’ passed down from her own Grandmother has been her trademark. When she is not in the store, all the customers notice when Ms. Shirley takes a day off. Another love of Ms. Shirley’s are our babies. Ms. Shirley always compliments them on being beautiful, talks to the infants and encourages our teens.
Sol Beauty is now Glow + Flow Beauty Supply and Ms. Shirley has not missed a beat. Customers notice the new name and ownership but Ms. Shirley is still a vital member of the team. Her smile still lights up the store and she still knows all the products like the back of her hand. Most importantly, Ms. Shirley is still greeting and serving the community with love, care and warmth. She has dedicated her life to the betterment of women through beauty, style and wellness. We celebrate Ms. Shirley for being there for us all these years. She is one of a kind!