Accessibility Tools

Success Stories

Ebony Cosmetics & Hair Lounge fills a gap in the beauty market with support from Community Futures Chinook

Ebony Cosmetics & Hair Lounge fills a gap in the beauty market with support from Community Futures Chinook

Sylvia Asare and her husband have managed Shoppers Drug Mart in Medicine Hat and Brooks for many years. Recently Asare opened her independent business venture, Ebony Cosmetics & Hair Lounge, with the support of Community Futures Chinook.

She received support with the Beautification Loan, Small Business Loan, Business Assistance Program, and the Digital Service Squad. The Beautification Loan was used to renovate the space, “When our clients walk in the store for the first time, they are surprised with how gorgeous the lounge and salon area is. They are able to sit and enjoy the beautiful space.

When she worked with the Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce, she had the opportunity to visit businesses in the region. She noticed a gap in the market for beauty products. Brooks is known as the city of 100 hellos, and she wanted to offer a beauty space that serves the different cultural beauty needs of those living in the city

The salon is not only for black people. It’s for everyone. And I decided to do this with the intention of it being a one stop shop, where people can get their beauty needs from head to toe with a manicure, pedicure, wax, body contouring, and hair styling,” says Asare.

Ebony 2

Asare received support from business analyst Alvaro Mendes and digital service squad member Grace Evans. Mendes supported Asare in creating a realistic business plan the owner used to start her business and can reference throughout her new venture, and Evans built a website and set-up social media for Asare.

Grace really helped me, and she was so patient in showing me what to do. I am not a tech person but she was happy to help with social media and build the website from the ground up. I can’t thank her enough,” says Asare. “Alvaro and I have a friendship now. He’s been an amazing instrument and support, and I am so grateful for Alvaro. I couldn’t have the store if it wasn’t for him. They both really set me up for success, and I’ve already sent three people to Community Futures Chinook who are looking to start a business.

Asare says the support from the community in Brooks has been amazing. Mendes connected her with the City of Brooks, and they have also been such a great support for her. On the day of Ebony’s Cosmetic & Hair Lounge grand opening, over 300 people attended. The business owner is so grateful.

I couldn’t have it any better than how I have it right now,” says the business owner. “The loans have helped us bring our vision to a reality. Not only did it help to change the 5,000 sq.ft space from nothing to a modern salon and retail, it also benefited us in purchasing equipment and inventory for the storefront.

Asare was raised in Toronto, Ontario, and then moved to Edmonton with her husband. When they moved to Brooks, she set a goal for herself that she would move back to Toronto in five years. The married couple have been living in Brooks for four years, and Asare has just opened her new business, “I’m definitely not leaving. Brooks really grows on you. It’s a wonderful community to raise your children, and the support is amazing.

Explore Ebony Cosmetics and Hair Lounge online at as well as Facebook and Instagram!

Ebony 1

Contact Us

5324 48 Ave.
Taber, AB  T1G 1S2
P: 403-223-2984


Communities Served

Barnwell, Coutts, Cranford, Enchant, Grassy Lake, Hays, Milk River, New Dayton, Purple Springs, Rainier, Scandia, Skiff, Taber, Vauxhall, Warner, Wrentham