In March of 2013, after lots of hard work and determination, Meghan Wood opened Pink Dot Beauty Bar. Similar to many a Charleston native, Wood made her way back down to the low country after spending six years in Portland, OR, working in the medical field.
It was during her return home that she realized how difficult it was to locate brick and mortar destinations with her favorite beauty products. Following a year of research Meghan wanted to see if she had what it took to bring the all-natural, organic, cruelty-free and vegan products that she loved to the holy city.
Fast forward three years and a few hundred square feet later, Meghan chats with us about all the changes both she and the store have underwent; as well as some of the beauty brands she’s loving right now.
Carolina STYLE: Meghan, you mentioned that after being away from home [Charleston] about six or so years you noticed a significant change in the landscape of the area. Can you tell me a little more about that?
Pink Dot Beauty Bar: Yes, well actually in the 12 or so years that I was gone between school and work so much had changed here. We had all these brand new retailers and chain stores and King Street looked totally different but we didn’t have any new makeup stores like out on the west coast, Oregon in particular. Things there are a lot more green, earth conscious, organic and holistic; plus I was really surprised to not find Indie makeup brands. All you could find was department store products and thats when the wheels just started turning.
STYLE: Did you have any business knowledge before you decided to take this giant leap into the beauty business world?
PDBB: No not at all. Actually, I ended up going through the Citadel to get help formulating a business plan. They have a really great program called the Small Business Development course there which I would recommend for anybody. They helped me for about a year flesh out my plan while I applied for a small SBA loan and then finally opened up just the first floor while still working my other job at MUSC full-time.
Kick starting the busy weekend of wedding appointments and fabulous clients! Can’t wait to make all of you ladies look your very best! #makeupartist #makeupapplication #pinkdotbeautybar #charlestonwedding #charlestonmakeupartist #hairandmakeup #organicmakeup #organicskincare #allnatural #falselashes #manipedi
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STYLE: Wow, talk about a hustle. So this first floor was just retail space; when did you decide to add on services? How were those other two floors being utilize before you got a hold of them?
PDBB: Well it all kind of happen organically. I lived on the third floor for a little while after I left my corporate job. I sold my condo and moved into the third floor, turned it into a little apartment which I definitely planned for it to be a temporary thing but at the time it just made sense to live up there. Eventually I got married and realized I had an extra 800 square feet and didn’t know what to do with it. I thought to myself, ya know we do hair all the time for weddings, maybe a hair salon is what makes sense [and that was in July of 2014].
STYLE: It really does sound like a natural progression. Now that you have added on The Hive Beauty Salon how has that changed the services you provide?
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PDBB: Well of course the third floor is a full nail and hair salon but as for the second floor the front two thirds is a bridal studio we rent out on the weekends; we do a lot of weddings. Then the back portion is an aesthetic Studio, we have a full-time esthetician which means you can get your spray tan, nails, hair, teeth whitening, airbrush tattoo cover up and so much more. We do pretty much anything and everything with the underlying idea that our products are cleaner greener, better for you and better for the environment.
STYLE: Talk about a one stop shop. I noticed on one of your fliers you and your team orchestrate classes, can you tell me a little more about those?
PDBB: We provide all kinds of a classes and tutorials on just about everything. One class in particular, called beauty and bubbly is very popular with bridal parties. Groups are able to enjoy munchies and cocktails from our little bar cart in addition to step by step instructions on how to use various beauty products.
STYLE: Okay, well how do you choose which products are sold and how do you find new brands?
PDBB: Well, originally I was picking and choosing brands that I had fell in love with in while in Oregon. I would reach out to them but as the store has gained a little more notoriety through the years brands have began to reach out to us. However, I still go to this show once a year called the Indie Beauty Expo and it’s really a great way to go and learn about a lot of the new clean indie products out there. Most importantly we give every product a really rigorous testing. Myself and the staff try all of the products and whoever skin is best suited for it we go from there. Also, we go through a process of really looking into the ingredient deck as well as looking into the packaging like for instance how easy are returns, how convenient is the packing, things like that.