Celebrating Black History: Appleton beauty supply owner makes mark in community

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 7:01 PM CST
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Inside Val U Beauty Supply, a story of coming to America unfolds.

"I came to the United States in 2010,” Val U Beauty Supply Owner Fadia Baldeh Colley said. “I came to meet my family here.”

Growing up in Gambia, a country in West Africa, Colley always dreamed of living in the U.S.

"I started out in Oshkosh handing out business cards and fliers because I just came here and I didn't know many people around,” Colley said. "I had a customer that wanted me to braid her hair and she was like do you have hair and I was like no. I asked her where I could get hair from. She said there is a store in Appleton."

That store was a place where Fadia would make her mark in the Appleton community.

"I met another woman here who embraced me, who didn't see the difference,” said Colley.

The store owner at that time, Tasha Banks, let Fadia use her back room to braid hair.

Two years later Banks sold the store to Fadia where she has been the owner for 8 years.

"I never thought that in a million years that I’ll be here,” said Colley. “Even to have the opportunity working with people that I am a part of."

Fadia said she uses this opportunity to uplift the black community and help out her family back home.

"I believe in myself a lot that whatever you do in this world just keep on pushing and keep on working hard and one day you will see the fruit of your labor.” said Colley.

She wants to encourage the community to shop locally --

and support surrounding businesses

Fadia has a second location of Val U Beauty Supply in her hometown of Gambia.