Since its showroom opening on Read Street in 2011, MINKTRESSES has been bringing exotic, luxury style to the hippest fashionistas around Baltimore. Part boutique, part mini salon, the shop specializes in international beauty products and exotic human hair distribution. Its purpose is to bring exotic style to the trendy modern woman and it exceeds in doing so with its unique locks and luxury accessories. With an extensive online gallery of tresses and artistically designed pieces of jewelry, MINKTRESSES has established a worldwide name for itself in the world of selling luxury fashion and continues to operate right here out of Charm City.
At the head of this beauty business is fashionista and art lover Kia Noir. A New York native, Kia attended New York University for a double major in theater and international studies. She was always interested in art and design, but was first introduced to selling luxury wear through a position at one of New York City’s finest shoe boutiques, Petit Bateau. She would not have succeeded so aptly at her beauty trade business, however, if it were not for her internship at one of New York’s most famous marketing firms, whose name she is not allowed to disclose. It was in this position that she created the contacts and gained the crucial knowledge of the marketing business that granted her the success that she has today. With the people she met and the understanding of the trade she gained, Kia decided to embark on opening her own business in the state of Maryland.
Kia’s first shop, a luxury shoe boutique in the hip neighborhood of Adams Morgan, DC, was opened in early 2004. It did not long stand before Kia was introduced to the hair business during a visit to see her college roommate in Malaysia. Kia’s friend’s family operated a human hair distribution business out of both Malaysia and India, and when Kia offered to be their American contact, they agreed. MINKTRESSES was born, and as soon as Kia returned to the US, she began getting in touch with her old contacts in order to spread business. Soon, she was distributing tresses as far as the UK and creating enough clientèle to expand MINKTRESSES into what it is today. Without any physical shop or online presence, MINKTRESSES grew through pure word of mouth and Kia’s drive to succeed.
It was this drive that led Kia to continue expanding MINKTRESSES into other territories, such as luxury jewelry and beauty products. Kia began scouting fashion shows and exhibits for things to sell, making contacts and relationships with the world’s newest up-and-coming designers. She was most interested in unique pieces that bring something new to the market and give women a unique style they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere. Some of her pieces include chunky tribal-themed necklaces, colorful stacking rings, large geometric earrings, and faux fox hoods that allow any diva to make a stylish statement with both class and authenticity.
As MINKTRESSES grows, Kia continues looking elsewhere to further her business. She says she would like to expand across the Northeast, and has even began scouting for possible locations in Brooklyn, NY. With the success of MINKTRESSES in Charm City, it is certain that the business will continue on its route of offering unique beauty and glamor tools to independent women searching to showcase their luxury lifestyle. In a world where appearances are first impressions and fashion drives us forward, it’s important to find looks that are both unique to ourselves and set us up for success. MINKTRESSES provides women with just that; pieces that allow us to show off our individual style in a glamorous way. Bringing exotic tastes to America’s fashion frontier, Kia Noir gives opportunities for all of us to experience luxury at affordable prices and beautiful designs. As she puts it, MINKTRESSES sells “beautiful exotic things that women all around the world use that we here in America might not be privy to.” Whether here or overseas, women desire and deserve to showcase themselves, and as Kia proves, with the right contacts and the right attitude, there is always business in beauty.