DEI - Walking the Walk
Della’s has become a staple in downtown Ann Arbor, serving customers textured hair products, unique gifts, good vibes, and a safe space for those in the BIPOC community. After only being open for 8 months, customers have made it clear that Della’s is a fun, welcoming, and much-needed destination for those exploring their beauty, updating their image, and overall seeking a one-of-a-kind experience in Ann Arbor.
“When designing the store, I told my interior designer that I wanted the space to feel like a Black auntie’s living room. It should feel cozy and totally normal for anyone to ask questions, share their thoughts, or give hugs (consensual, of course!)” - Sheena McCullers, owner of Della's
Sheena McCullers opened Della’s in March 2022, less than a year after she moved to A2 with her husband and son. She struggled to find products for her textured hair, but more importantly, she craved a sense of belonging and community. Della’s is a beauty supply and gift store filled with hair extensions, hair tools, hair products, and novelty gift items. Many of the gift items are sourced from women-owned and/or BIPOC-owned businesses, making it easy for customers to find something unique, while supporting businesses from those in marginalized communities. Over 35 percent of Della’s hair product inventory and 70 percent of gift item inventory are from women-owned and BIPOC-owned brands. This commitment contributes to sustainable and supportive ecosystems for makers and small businesses that need it the most.
When people visit Della’s, it’s clear that there’s something special about the space. Maybe it’s the vibrant and colorful decor, the sweet signature fragrance in the air, the top-notch hospitality, or the general feeling of warmth that’s exuded by the staff and the environment.
Della’s prides itself on being a store that is of the community and for the community. The team employs and mentors BIPOC students who attend the University of Michigan, and they contract students and community members for meaningful projects such as headshots, graphic design, marketing, and other strategic projects to help keep dollars circulating in the A2 community.
Della’s has also made it their mission to provide resources and opportunities to educate community members about textured hair. Some examples include:
FREE HAIR ASSESSMENTS
Della’s partners with the local Ypsilanti salon, Original Moxie, to offer free hair assessments via a pop-up at Della’s, where anyone in the community can learn how to care for their textured hair in a safe and welcoming environment. It’s helpful that Della’s is located in downtown Ann Arbor making it accessible for those who have limited resources to travel beyond the downtown area, particularly students without cars.
STYLIST/BARBER REFERRAL LIST
Sheena experienced first-hand how challenging it was to find a hair stylist in the Ann Arbor area, so she created a free resource that offers a list of over 50 community-recommended stylists and barbers in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit. This referral list took over 7 months to build and has been strengthened with input from numerous people in the Della’s community who have experienced the same struggle. The resource is emailed to anyone who needs it and is regularly updated.
“My hope is that Della’s grows to be a landmark A2 business that people travel to visit. My goal is to continue partnering with allies and BIPOC community members to shape this space into a community hub that inspires and deepens the sense of belonging of so many who need it.”
With a focus on community and good vibes, we know Della’s is off to a great start in creating the foundation for becoming the cultural hub that it desires to be in the Ann Arbor community and beyond.
313 S State St Suite #6
Ann Arbor, MI 48104