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Peyton Walter is a senior at Langston University and a co-founder, alongside her business partner Jahari Johnson, of Lion’s Mane Beauty Supply at Langston University.
In an interview with The Black Wall Street Times, Walter discussed her experiences with her business.
Jahari and Peyton are entering their senior year and third year at Langston University.
It all started when Peyton and her friends inconveniently had to drive to OKC to the nearest beauty supply store. “We would find ourselves driving 40 minutes for something as simple as edge control, a pack of braiding hair, or even a wig cap. For HBCU students and especially HBCU women, hair is important and an essential part of our daily routine.”
She then goes on to say how Langston and the surrounding communities didn’t have a source to serve them. Another reason for starting Lion’s Mane Beauty Supply is because she and her partner, Jahari Johnson, were both interested in entrepreneurship. “We were learning about how many great things happened in Langston and how it was an epicenter of Black culture at one point in Oklahoma,” said Peyton.
“However, a lot of people[Langston University Alumni] weren’t pouring back into the community, so we wanted to start a business, and made sure it served our community,” said Peyton.
Lion’s Mane Beauty serves style at Langston University
This didn’t come easy for Peyton and Jahari though. Starting a Black-owned beauty supply came with adversity. “What they don’t tell you when it comes to loans, banks don’t give money to 19 and 21 year olds, so we came up with a solution.”
“Our only option was to use our excess scholarship money,” said Peyton. “We decided it was better to start out small and grow with time.”
Peyton also fought her own battles internally and dealt with imposter syndrome. “I feel like I’m really just now stepping into my purpose,” said Peyton. “Most people don’t know that I was on a pre-med track. And I truly only saw myself working in the STEM field, so entrepreneurship was new to me.”
“My heart was in building businesses. My heart was investing in the Black community, and that took over for me and Jahari. He was on track to be in engineering but we both switched around the same time.”
When it comes to the future of Lion’s Mane Beauty Supply, there is no slowing down after she graduates. With Peyton and Jahari both staying busy outside of the business, as Jahari crosses into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and Peyton remains a cheerleader and honors student, they both plan to focus a year solely on Lion’s Mane once they graduate from Langston University in the upcoming spring.
As time goes on, Langston University students Peyton Walter and Jahari Johnson want to continue empowering their Black community with their beauty supply and want to help empower other Black communities as they try to expand in the future.
For more information, follow Lion’s Mane Beauty Supply on Instagram.