SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Camille Heard is one of many business owners who work out of Van Aken’s Market Hall.
"What I've noticed is that this is a very entrepreneurial space. [There are] so many different entrepreneurs that sell their products here, sell their business[es] or their food here," Heard said.
Heard said the space inspires her to work on an app that she co-founded called FELOH, which stands for "For Everyone's Love of Hair & Beauty."
"FELOH is a social marketplace and social community app for the beauty industry," Heard said.
The app sells products from small businesses across the country, while focusing on community and authenticity.
"We wanted to present a space where we can connect with each other in a super authentic way, particularly with the focus on people of color in the space who've been, you know, persistently overlooked," Heard said.
Heard said she quit her job to pursue this passion project. Now, she wants to help others do the same.
"We live in a world that doesn't really empower us to follow our dreams always," Heard said.
She added the app is growing tremendously since a Crown Day event that the company hosted in Cleveland.
"That led us to 500 users on the platform, [and] we have 64 selling partners on the platform," Heard recalled.
“Hi. I have some products for you," Arnold said as she arrived for a meeting with Heard.
Arnold said she came across the app through social media.
"One of my followers who shouted them out, and [I] was like, 'Huh, that looks interesting,'" Arnold said.
Arnold said the platform’s emphasis on collaboration and inclusion sold her.
"Wellness and self-care have been historically white," Arnold said. "I feel that women of white descent can google self-care and wellness tips and come up with so many different articles and resources written by white women, for white women."
Heard said the app is helping to change that.
"The future of FELOH is kind of taking back that narrative, and for consumers and for the business owners to say, 'No, this is what beauty means to us,'" Heard said.