Atlanta Entrepreneurs, Beauty Supply shop, Beauty Supply Institute, BSI

Atlanta Entrepreneurs Claim Beauty Supply Company’s False Promises Left Them Bankrupt

Beauty Supply Institute was supposed to help Atlanta entrepreneurs start their own stores, but has yet to fulfill its contracted obligations.

There are mounting complaints against Beauty Supply Institute (BSI), which claimed to help Black people in entrepreneurship, which has left many Atlanta business owners bankrupt.

According to 11Alive, the company encouraged aspiring Black entrepreneurs to own beauty supply shops. BSI provided books and videos and hosted conferences to aid in this business journey. Participants signed a service contract paying for BSI’s resources, granting them access to help build the business from the ground up.

Contracted owners were supposed to receive guidance from BSI regarding store operations and obtaining products. Instead, they allege they were met with ambiguous and lackluster help. Pauline McLaurin signed her contract with BSI three years ago but finds herself at a loss from the venture.

“I was looking for mentorship, you know, a way to open the doors for me to get products and establish relationships with vendors,” McLaurin told the news outlet. They make it seem like they want you to elevate. But I’m now in a way worse situation than I was when I first met them [BSI].” 

McLaurin claims she did most of the work, including finding a space to rent. While she completed that task 10 months ago, BSI has yet to deliver the products needed to launch the business. In the meantime, McLaurin has had to take on two jobs to cover the outstanding costs.

Many others have similar stories to McLaurin, as some signees in Maryland have a government-mandated refund from BSI. The state also ordered the company to stop conducting business due to the seemingly fraudulent activity.

However, Metro Atlanta entrepreneurs have yet to obtain justice for BSI’s alleged misleading practice. Georgia’s Office of the Attorney General confirmed an investigation into BSI is underway.

BSI’s Founder, Devin Robinson, spoke to reporters about the ongoing allegations. He believes that his company is not all to blame. He said vendor delays and overwhelming demand have stunted its progression.

“We had to implement new technology. We just had to do certain things to be able to handle certain scale. So our schedule also becomes an issue,” explained Robinson.

BSI also issued a statement on the rising concerns. However, it has yet to make amends with many Atlanta customers regarding their lost funds.

“We’ve prided ourselves on 20 years of success as a trailblazer in this business, opening over 200 successful stores. While we’ve recently encountered challenges that we have to overcome that has negatively affected a handful of our hundreds of clients, we’ve been able to implement new technologies, allowing us to navigate our challenges properly and position ourselves for continued success,” wrote the company. “This company was birthed out of a need and desire to mentor people in our own communities to become entrepreneurs in the beauty industry. Our focus has always been to get our clients to their store opening day, even during challenging times.”

According to its website, BSI is still taking appointments for potential clients, indicating that business has not stopped.