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Ferndale business nearly shut down from pandemic goes national with Walmart sales

Posted at 5:12 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 06:29:15-05

(WXYZ) — A Ferndale business almost shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic is now set for explosive growth in the months and years ahead.

It's a stunning turn of events that took Le Host Hairs & Wigs, a small business, to a national platform.

Le Host Hair & Wigs is a Black-owned business that has enjoyed a loyal fan base for years. They have a line of custom hair care products and wigs of all types, but owners Haith and Henry Johnson say the pandemic almost forced them to close for good.

"e literally actually sat in my office for two days and cried because I really thought I was going to have to let my whole staff go after," Haith said.

She's a cosmetologist and has been doing hair for 30 years. Henry handles logistics. Haith says in the darkest days, it became clear there was a thirst for their product and their knowledge.

"So that's how we brand ourselves with a touch of a brand that educates our consumers on how to use our hair care products," they said.

But their big break came when they pitched to Walmart. It wasn't the first time.

"They told us, no, the first time this one was refusing to quit. We just continue preparing for it," they said.

Henry wouldn't give up.

"He came back and said, 'Hey, open call is again.' I'm like, 'yay!' And I kept going. He said, 'Oh, no, I'm applying.' I said, 'hey, you just got to believe,'" Haith said.

They got Walmart to believe, too. This week, Le Host Protect & Shine and Unlock Hair Detangler rolled out in 310 Walmart stores. It's an amazing feat for a small company from Ferndale.

Now, Haith and Henry are ramping production and expanding their small staff. This success didn't come overnight. The couple has been at this for years.

"It tickles me when he talks about hair like he really knows what he's talking about, but he got a spot on look," she said.

"I've been married to this woman for twenty five years. Ought to know something about hair," Henry added.

They know a lot about people, too. Le Host has a long history of providing wigs to service members and cancer survivors. Their hair care products are an outcome of their compassion.

"We develop these products again for a cancer patient because they will lose the hair and the hair, what met up and so it would relieve the hair," they said.

So, what's next for them? Staying true to their ideals and managing the growth of their company.

All Le Host products in the 310 Walmarts across the country are blended, bottled, labeled, packed and shipped right here in metro Detroit.

They have other projects in the works, too, so expect to hear more about Le Host in the near future.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.