A local online beauty products purveyor has chosen a spot in Jackson Ward for its first physical storefront.
House of Synai, which sells body butters, lipsticks, shampoos and conditioners through the web, plans to open a new store-cafe combo next month at 416 N. 1st St. under the banner of House of Synai Sweets & Body Butters.
Company founder Lauren Copes created her own body butters because she and her children have eczema. In late 2016, a friend encouraged her to begin selling them — and her company has been self-funded ever since.
“Once I started making the products, I had a vision that I wanted to have a storefront,” Copes said.
Named for Copes’ daughter, House of Synai’s products are made in Copes’ home. She estimates the brand has drawn $24,000 in revenue since it launched, with top sellers being lipsticks and body butters.
Copes decided to add the café concept to drive additional revenue.
“I don’t feel that my products are strong enough to get all of the bills right now by themselves, but I do know that people will come for sandwiches, desserts, ice cream and coffee,” Copes said.
She’s leasing the 1,200-square-foot space for $1,200 per month. The space previously was home to a convenience store.
Nathan Hughes, a broker with Sperity Ventures, handled House of Synai’s lease.
“There’s a lot of good activity happening around here,” Hughes said of the neighborhood.
Copes also works as a corrections officer for the Department of Juvenile Justice, and said she enjoys helping youths. In fact, she hopes that with her latest venture, she can begin to hire people who have come out of DJJ that she said “have gotten their life together.”
She’ll keep her job while running House of Synai, but will be more hands-on in her store until her staff is trained to handle daily operations in her absence.
Copes also is pondering ideas, such as game nights, to make her store a gathering place for families.
“I think families are too much into their tablets and too much into TV,” she said. “So I would like for families to come here to have dessert together.”