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Michigan Woman Goes From Teaching English To Owning Multiple Businesses In Korea

Michigan Woman Goes From Teaching English To Owning Multiple Businesses In Korea

There are lists put out everyday highlighting successful Black businesses. There are even efforts to create a global Black business directory. Yet and still, budding entrepreneurs are often overlooked for more salacious media. Which is why we take every opportunity we can to highlight their success.

Insert Jessica Fry, a native Michigander, who left the U.S. for South Korea about 11 years ago to teach English. Fry told Travel Noire that she initially left so she could save money to invest in real estate. “I was looking for a change and a way to save money so I thought I would come to Korea, save money, and then start a business. I read a blog that you can come to Korea and work and not have to pay rent,” Fry said. 

Soon after arriving in Korea, she realized that the opportunities for other types of business were endless. She also very quickly realized that there was a need for more Black hair care products. The area of Pyeongtaek, where Fry lived, was home to a large Army and Air Force base. Her idea for hair care came after researching ways to make the soldiers lives easier. This led to the opening of Fry’s first beauty supply store, Honey Hair. 

The business quickly took off and Honey Hair eventually became one of the largest beauty supply stores in the country, offering products that women couldn’t find anywhere else. 

“I wanted to meet the needs of Black women. I have also expanded to being able to meet the needs of women in general, even Asian women. A unique quality that I have is that I’m a great buyer. So, I’m great at finding the trendiest things and products that people need,” Fry told Travel Noire.

Fry went on to try her hand in a number of other business endeavors. She opened up a boutique clothing store that she was eventually able to sell to the government. Then she used the money to open up a small sandwich shop which eventually turned into a larger restaurant, JJ’s American Diner. 

Photo courtesy of JJ’s American Diner/Travel Noire

The diner provides a true American experience and authentic American cuisine. Fry said that “the restaurant is really focused on being just like America. It’s a novel experience for the Koreans and a taste of home for the soldiers.”

She has absolutely no plans of slowing down either. Fry is planning on launching even more businesses including a swimsuit shop and a natural and holistic health business. To learn more about her business go to or follow Honey Hair via social media. 

Keep doing what you’re doing Jessica. We are truly inspired!

Photo courtesy of Jessica Fry/Travel Noire