Learn About The New Inclusive Community Beauty Store
What started years ago as a waxing service, Kendall Barbie Beauty is now serving not only its original community, but anyone who is looking for beauty, and most importantly—inclusive creativity.
The 2nd Ave facing windows as well as the stripes that decorate the store’s wall was done by local business, Upper Hand Signs. You may recognize the duo’s work around town, some of those projects being the new Rosewild signage in front of the Jasper or the iconic images and lettering around Fargo Brewing!
The Kendall Barbie Beauty storefront opened in July in downtown Fargo. Inside you’ll find colorful and unique items from keychains to facial glitter, to posters to a wide variety of stickers, and a mix of organic beauty and skin and hair care products. These diverse goods make up the store, but if you ask most, what really makes this business is the overwhelming sense of welcomeness. And that’s exactly what they’re going for.
Kendall Barbie has worked in the beauty industry for 20 years and has been a certified esthetician in North Dakota for 9 years. Four years ago she opened her business, Kendall Barbie, where she offers waxing, brow microblading and other brow and lash services. She will not only continue her beauty services in her new storefront but expand as she hires a handful of employees to offer services there as well. These employees will be able to choose their own hours as well as choose what services they offer. Kendall says this freedom to work in one’s own capacity allows them to work better and she finds employees are genuinely happier.
“I want to inspire people, give them comfort at their place of employment and help them grow,” she said.
This method for her employees is just a fraction of what makes Kendall Barbie Beauty’s environment the way it is. In fact, Kendall describes the store by saying, “first and foremost it’s a community space.”
Whether it’s getting individuals newly interested in makeup through the doors or maybe someone who generally isn’t seen in the traditional beauty standards, Kendall Barbie Beauty offers a place for everyone to explore beauty. It doesn’t stop there.
“I wanted to create a place that felt so welcoming, so home-like, that folks would want to pop in just to say hello (or just to chill on our gorgeous vintage furniture),” she said.
In addition to the wide range of beauty products, Kendall sells small-medium-sized gifts and hobby items and makes sure to keep some at a low price point so someone can always take something home. She says she chooses what she stocks at random, maybe it’s a notebook with a funny quote or a pack of stickers supporting something she thinks her customers would be interested in.
The dream behind this store came from Kendall’s childhood memories as well as a response to her life now.
“When I was a little girl there was a place in my hometown called The Farmacy that was a makeup and gift boutique with esthetics rooms in the back, and I just adored it. The staff always treated me with kindness whether I spent money or not—being a kid, I didn’t have much. They’d let me play with makeup and even would put some on me if they had the time. I felt like a queen, and in a world where young people (and non-spending customers in general) are often disregarded this was huge to me… I have dreamt for 25 years to open a space of my own in its likeness,” Kendall explained.
In addition to this lifelong dream, Kendall is passionate about opening and diversifying the beauty world to everyone. Whether it be feeling unwelcomed or even unsafe in entering beauty spaces, she wanted her space to be the opposite. With this, she hopes to bring back a sense of creativity and love for those exploring beauty.
“I wanted to bring back the energy of your older cousin showing you eyeshadow for the first time. Remember that? The wonder of creating yourself has been lost, and people deserve to have that back.”-Kendall Barbie
Her last motive for opening her store was to ignite some of that passion in herself. After years of 40 to 50 hours weeks with her clients, she was feeling burnout. While she loves her profession, her workload, both physically and mentally, was unsustainable.
“People cry in my studio; I hear about divorces before they happen, I hear about peoples’ kids being bullied in school, people confide in me about abortions and miscarriages and so much other trauma. The problem is I care so I always listen and provide my best advice but at the end of the day I was always drained. I wanted to find a way to bring my kindness to a wider swath of the community in a way that didn’t deplete my heart at the end of the day,” she said. “So far, it seems to be working.”
“Beauty is about creating yourself, and everyone should be a part of that.”-Kendall Barbie
Kendall worked with her contractor, Seth Holden, to build out the store in just four and a half weeks! Seth owns an independent company called Holden Restoration and Remodel in North Fargo.
Kendall says she plans to donate 5% of sales on higher volume days to local charities. Her chosen charity for July was the ND WIN Fund, August was the Pride Collective and Community Center, September is mental health non-profits and October is the Rape & Abuse Crisis Center (RACC).
Visit Kendall Barbie Beauty to explore everything beauty, for everyone.