Marie Egbujor has been operating Paradise Beauty Salon on West Broadway in North Minneapolis since 2009. The inviting salon is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm. Ms. Egbujor is kept busy by her loyal clients; Paradise Beauty is famous for its Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday-only specials: $75 for a full weave sew-in, and dread retouching for just $40.
Egjubor’s expertise is evident in her clients’ satisfied faces; “She’s very gifted at what she does; her hands are blessed” explained a client named Tiquita, who only entrusts her hair to Egjubor. However, what’s truly remarkable about Paradise Beauty Salon is the sense of calm, care and tranquility that one feels almost immediately upon stepping inside. “When you come in you feel the difference. You leave the chaos of the street and feel a sense of peace. I love to be around Marie, she is very loving and nurturing,” continued Tiquita.
Egbujor originally opened the salon for “financial” or entrepreneurial reasons but soon started to recognize it as a calling- a way to share the calming effect she has on others. “People told me, without me asking, that when they come here they feel relaxed, the atmosphere is different than any other shop. That’s when I figured out that it was more than just a business,” she said.
Egbujor’s clients include both men and women, old and young, “and all of them feel comfortable here.” Many new clients come to her after being referred by one of her regulars.
In all ways, Egbujor makes sure Paradise Beauty Salon lives up to its name. The shop is spotless, brightly painted and decorated with beautiful plants and artwork, including a large oil painting much admired by owner and clients alike. Somehow, the sound of cars passing by on busy West Broadway does not penetrate the windows. It truly is a place of retreat, and one of many woman and person of color-owned small businesses that make North Minneapolis’ main business district so unique.
Paradise Beauty Salon
919 West Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55411