Anna woman overcomes obstacles to build beauty supply

By Joshua Baethge
For the Van Alstyne Leader
Terrinika's Beauty Supply celebrated its one-year anniversary in September.

Starting a business in the middle of a global pandemic may seem like a formidable challenge but it didn’t’ scare Terrinika Anderson away.  Now, as Terrinika’s Beauty Supply celebrates its one-year anniversary, she’s thriving in Anna by providing a service and a setting unlike any other in the area.   

“It’s hard- I’m not even going to lie,” she says. “It's hard because we’re still growing and I’m still trying to figure out what’s needed.  I think the hardest part is trying to accommodate everybody.” 

Accommodating everyone may be hard, but it’s exactly what Anderson had in mind when she opened her store.  She wanted to create a diverse business where anyone could walk in, feel welcome and get what they need. 

At any given time that store may feel more like a bar or a social club than a beauty supply store.  People come in to chat with familiar faces and catch up on the latest gossip. 

Laughing with customers is just part of a normal day at Terrinika’s Beauty Supply in Anna

“It’s not a regular store. It’s more like a family gathering," Anderson says. “A lot of my ladies and my fellas get off work, they’re tired and they just come in here to talk and chill.  There are kids too,” she says. 

Anderson says hair has always been her first love. She sells shampoos, oils and extensions among other items in a large selection of hair care products.  She also has a private wig room where women can try them on in peace instead of at a counter in front of everyone like many beauty supply stores. 

Her journey to Anna began in New Orleans, which she left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  She began cutting hair at the age of 12 and enjoyed doing it for a long time.  However, when she was pregnant with her now ten-year-old daughter, she began to struggle with the smell of hair care products. 

Unable to continue as a stylist, she switched gears and began a career in the medical field.  She thrived in that role for nearly a decade until her job became a victim of COVID-19 related layoffs. 

The only silver lining of the situation was that she became eligible for unemployment benefits.  That money proved to be just enough to help her launch her own business. Of course, that didn’t happen without a difficult conversation with her three young kids first.  She had to tell them that mama would not be able to make home-cooked dinners from scratch every night.  They adjusted and now enjoy coming into the shop where they even have a special room to go to when they need to do schoolwork or feel like getting away from the crowd 

Ironically, the pandemic may have actually helped Anderson’s business. Many people took more interest in caring for their own hair when they were unable to go to a salon. They started experimenting with new products under her guidance. According to her, many of them like their hair more now than they did before.  With Anderson’s help, they’ve learned more about hair and how to get the look that they want. 

It’s not just the customers who are learning. Anderson says she learns something new every day with her clients constantly teaching her as she goes.  There’s a reason why a few store shelves are not full yet.  She knows that are more items she will want to stock- she just doesn’t know what they are yet. 

Anderson admits that she made some mistakes in the beginning.  However, she has managed to overcome them and continue to grow the business. Despite the success, she still prefers doing her own marking because she feels like it’s more genuine.  When she messes up, it’s there for all the world to see. 

“I talk too fast, and I start rambling because I’m from Louisiana and my sentences turn into whole paragraphs,” she jokes. 

She must be doing something right. Through word of mouth, clients are now coming in from not just Anna but as far away as Sherman and McKinney. Even her kids are learning the business. Considering where she started, Anderson said she is more than happy with what she has accomplished so far and is confident that the best still lies ahead.