Luxury durag store to open on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles

    20-year-old Atira Lyons has been documenting her journey on social media since earlier this year.

    Twitter

    A young entrepreneur from Southern California has opened the first ever durag store located on Melrose. 

    20-year-old Atira Lyons has been documenting her journey on social media since earlier this year. Many of her followers have been spreading the word about the luxury durag collection in an effort to encourage others to support Black businesses amid COVID-19, especially those owned by Black women. 

    “I HAVE A STORE ON MELROSE AVE IN LOS ANGELES!!!!!!! My 20 year old a** got a f*cking store on MELROSE,” she tweeted in March. “Grand opening in a month in a half. I can’t believe I did it. Unreal. Thank you EVERYONE for your support and business.”

    When one critic suggested she change her ‘brand font’ because it’s illegible, Lyons fired back with: “My store is on one of the most well know streets in LA. If you don’t know what it is, it’s very easy to find. And literally can come and buy something and then be given the website. Please save your opinion.” 

    Read More: Coronavirus pandemic has eliminated almost half of Black small businesses

    In an August 10 post, she thanked her supporters and noted that she’s been planning for her grand opening for “over a year and a half.”

    Lyons added, “I did this with my money. No loans.”

    Her self-made success comes as Black-owned small businesses across the nation continue to suffer during the COVID-19 crisis. 

    According to Forbes, Black small businesses are more than twice as likely to shut down compared to their white counterparts.

    “Nationally representative data on small businesses indicate that the number of active business owners fell by 22% from February to April 2020—the largest drop on record,” the report said.

    “Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41% drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32% and Asian business owners dropped by 26%.”

    The number of white-owned small businesses fell just 17%, the report states. 

    This stark contrast is being attributed to institutional racism. 

    Read More: Interest in Black-owned businesses increased 7,000 percent, study shows

    “Volumes of COVID-19 cases coincide with Black-owned business locations: two-thirds of counties with high levels of Black business activity pre-COVID-19 are in the top 50 COVID-affected areas,” according to a New York Fed report.

    Many Black-owned businesses were also left out of the Paycheck Protection Program. 

    “These loans reached only 20% of eligible firms in states with the highest densities of Black-owned firms, and in counties with the densest Black-owned business activity, coverage rates were typically lower than 20%,” the report showed.

    “Even the healthiest Black firms were financially disadvantaged at the onset of COVID-19,” said the report.

    Meanwhile, Lyons gushed in a August 9 tweet about “the furniture” she designed for the store, and noted that the “BATHROOM IS AVAILABLE FOR MY CUSTOMERS,” she shared in a March 7 tweet.

    Lyons’ range of durags are offered in multiple colors and are available in silk and velvet. 

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