Written by The Community Fund of North Miami Dade
Since the young age of 12, Philadelphia, PA, native Allison Brown, owner of Miami’s Adore J’Adore Self-Care Bar, has always known she was destined to be an entrepreneur. Allison learned firsthand about entrepreneurship from her mother who owned three restaurants during her childhood.
“Since the age of 12, I always have had a vision of relocating from Philadelphia to either Miami, FL or Los Angeles, CA, and owning my own salon, however, it would not be a typical salon,” Allison told the Community Fund of North Miami Dade. “I knew I wanted to open a salon but I did not know I would open a self-care bar.”
Allison credits self-care to the person she is today. “Self-care became a part of my life at age 23 when I left Philadelphia to begin a fresh start in Miami,” she said. Through a self-discovery journey, Allison learned she was not caring for her mind and body as she should and recognized this inadequacy among all women, especially in the Black community.
“Black women are always putting someone else before themselves, including their kids, families, mothers and jobs,” said Allison. “I teach my clients how to prioritize themselves and to see luxury as a priority and standard that they should have because they deserve it.”
Allison experienced culture shock after arriving in Miami. “There was a salary reduction when I initially moved to Miami,” she said. “I thought I would make more money living here.”
Despite her eight years of experience in hairstyling and operating a hair salon, Allison worked as an assistant at several salons throughout the Miami metro area prior to opening Adore J’Adore Self-Care Bar.
However she does not regret this experience. “I learned a lot of business skills, including the importance of the customer experience, while working in different spaces for two years,”Allison said. “The experience allowed me to take myself out of the stylist role and start thinking as a business owner.”
Once she was ready to open her Miami salon, Allison enrolled in a business planning course offered by the Small Business Administration office at Florida International University. After completing the course, she was referred to Marcela Llinás at the Community Fund of North Miami Dade to apply for a small business loan as part of the OnTrack Miami Gardens Business Loan Program, powered by Formula 1 and the Truist Foundation.
“The whole loan process helped me tighten up a lot when it comes to my business,” Allison said. “I never used Quick Books before but now I have book keeping.” The OnTrack Miami Bardens Business Loan Program helps borrowers build cash reserves and have an interest reduction in the first year of the loan if the business owners engage in support from the Community Fund of North Miami Dade.
Allison signed a lease for her new salon location in September 2021, but did not open Adore J’adore until this year.
The small business loan she was approved for help cover expenses for zoning permits, an architect and several contractors who worked together to complete the construction of her new salon. “If I was not able to access those funds, I don’t know if I could have finished the build out for the salon,” she said. “The Community Fund of North Miami Dade completely help me finish and open the salon of my dream.”
Allison has this closing advice to aspiring business owners: “Make sure you have the right architect to create a plan for the business you are opening. Your architect can make or break your process. Also, make sure you properly prepare for all that may come up because there’s always something that comes up.” While waiting to open her new salon location, Allison was paying rent on the building and the space where she was working, and paying all the fees for the new salon build out.
Adore J’adore is open by appointment only Tuesday – Saturday for retail and Wednesday – Saturday for hair, body and skin services at 20701 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami Gardens, FL. You can follow Allison Brown and Adore J’Adore on Instagram at @jadoreallison and @adorejadoremia.
This was shared by The Community Fund of North Miami Dade.