For Casha Rosario, owner of Snazzy Beauty Supply in West Reading, starting a business wasn’t simply the fulfillment of a lifelong dream or a shrewd investment.

Of course Rosario finds fulfillment in helping people look their best, and there’s fiscal sense behind opening a beauty accessory store in a district known for shopping and socializing.

“We don’t have anything like it in West Reading,” said Rosario, noting Snazzy Beauty Supply carries products for men and women. “Snazzy is always with the times and going with the trends. There’s always something new.”

Yet, Snazzy Beauty is also a reflection of Rosario and her worldview that every person is beautiful — and that anybody, regardless of background or upbringing, can accomplish their goals as long as they’re willing to show up and put in the work.

By launching a beauty boutique on the 400 block of Penn Avenue, Rosario hopes to set a positive example for inner-city and underprivileged youth, not to mention single parents.

“When you come from a certain place, sometimes you feel like there are limitations,” said Rosario. “You have less opportunity to make it because you don’t have a support system. You’re not used to that atmosphere.

“But you have to put yourself in that atmosphere.”

‘Breaking generational curses’

A resident at The Children’s Home of Reading growing up, and now a single mother, Rosario seemingly had every excuse to let hardships dictate how far she can go in life.

Instead, she strives for more. Rosario launched Snazzy Beauty in December while simultaneously holding down a job as a bartender, attending classes to obtain her real estate license and raising her kids.

“I’m breaking generational curses,” said Rosario, adding she’s doing everything she can to give her children a better life.

She hopes her story might encourage others to try to do the same.

“I believe a lot of people out there just feel like, ‘This is all I can do.’ But you could be a business owner, too. You could be a homeowner, too. Some people just need to see it.

“I believe if they see I came from humble beginnings, a children’s home, I didn’t have anything, they’ll believe it and it’s going to inspire them. I’ll be living proof.”

‘It made me feel good’

The idea for Snazzy Beauty in particular happened organically. A stylish and outgoing person by nature, Rosario would help coworkers get ready for dates, a romantic nights out, formal events and special occasions, consulting on matters of wardrobe, hair and makeup.

“It made me feel good because they felt good,” said Rosario. “I was like, ‘I can do this because I transform women.'”

A West Reading resident, she began scoping out storefronts along Penn Avenue, only to miss out on some potential locations. Once she spotted the large window and unadvertised vacancy at building No. 408 though, it all came together.

“Location is everything and I felt like this is where I need to be,” said Rosario.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, when shopping has gone online and people are stuck indoors, Rosario knows looking great is still important to many. In other words, Snazzy Beauty Supply is a business she anticipates will outlast any trend the coronavirus throws her way.

“I know so many girls got dressed up on New Year’s Eve and just stayed home,” said Rosario. “But they still got dressed, put their hair up and their makeup on because that’s what makes us feel good.”

Grand plans 

Inside the store, pictures of Marilyn Monroe adorn the walls — because she’s a diva and a Gemini. Two hair-and-makeup stations are set up as well, so clients can try on wigs and other fashion accessories, then head out on to the Avenue.

The number of products Snazzy Beauty Supply carries grows by the day, particularly men’s hair care and beard products, which Rosario admits she didn’t realize were so popular.

“Everybody can come and feel welcome,” said Rosario. “I’m a personal person, so I’m here to cater. I’m here for you.”

Rosario is constantly envisioning new ways to give back and help others. Eventually, she hopes to have programs aimed at building women up, donating wigs to cancer patients and, of course, awarding makeovers to girls at the children’s home who earn a special treat.

With grand plans and unshakable optimism, Rosario sounds like somebody who’s got a lot more in mind than opening a beauty supply store.

“It’s just gonna keep on getting better,” said Rosario. “I have to work really hard right now, but in the end, it’s gonna be worth it.”