Detroit’s new Crème Brûlée salon aims to diversify the beauty industry

There is a major business sector that remains largely separate, and Detroiter Katrina Wilson hopes to change that.

Wilson officially opened the Crème Brûlée – what she calls the city’s first multicultural salon – on Sunday at 6406 Woodward Ave. At The Platform’s Baltimore Station mixed-use development in the city’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

“Crème Brûlée was founded with a passion for diversity and inclusion,” Wilson said. “I realized the need for an accessible salon like Crème Brûlée when my friends and I were planning a night of pampering outside, but couldn’t find a hair salon for different ethnicities under one roof. Crème Brûlée aims to end apartheid in the beauty industry by welcoming all clients “.

The black-owned salon offers hair, nail, and skin services, along with beauty products and celebrity and VIP rooms. It will operate from 7 am to 7 pm daily.

The 2,000-square-foot space, originally an art studio built in 1922, will also be available for weddings and other events. Customers can order cocktails while waiting for their service.

The 33-year-old Wilson, who started hairdressing at age 13 and became a licensed stylist at age 16, said she started the salon with the goal of leading the mission to end apartheid in the beauty industry.

“The industry is separated by race, ethnicity, hair texture, and sometimes gender,” Wilson said.

“…Our salon is a blend of cultures, ethnicities and style. Today’s guests want an experienced stylist with a specialized skill set that will enable them to work with their unique hair type regardless of texture and curl pattern.”

Wilson said she invested $100,000 of her own money and received a $40,000 grant as a prize in Round 17 of the Motor City Match. It also received support from Midtown Detroit Inc. and Michigan Women Forward, First Home Bank, Capital Impact Partners, TechTown Detroit, and PCI One Source Contracting.

Detroit City Council President Pro Tempor Mary Sheffield, among those present at the July 8 ribbon-cutting ceremony, praised Wilson for fulfilling her dream of owning her own salon.

“(Wilson) not only provides beauty services, but it breaks down barriers within its industry and provides Detroits with a safe and welcoming space,” Sheffield said in a statement.

This has been a long time for Wilson, who attended Michigan’s Paul Mitchell School in Sterling Heights. Wilson, who has worked as a freelance stylist providing services for award shows, photo sessions and other client appearances, founded the Crème Brûlée brand in 2018. A dual licensed cosmetologist, he holds a BA in criminal justice, pre-law and philosophy .

Wilson signed the Crème Brûlée lease in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic. She said the Milwaukee Junction is her first brick-and-mortar salon, a six-month build and cost about $1 million.

It plans to hire 18 employees and hire stylists, barbers and beauty technologists.

Wilson sees the salon opening as a major milestone. Once it’s up and running, Wilson plans to open a multicultural beauty school.

“I just started my plans to impact the city of Detroit,” Wilson said. “This is the first of many first steps I have planned. I am really happy to serve and welcome the city of Detroit and the surrounding areas.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.