Juice Bar, Deli & CBD Store
- OUR ROOTS -
In 2005, Changing Faces Barbershop, Inc. opened as a business with a purpose. The owner, inspired by two impressionable moments from his past, set out to create a business that would be heavily focused on mentoring new barbers and teaching them the various aspects of the business, employing and mentoring young boys to help them understand the necessary value of work ethic and intentionally focusing one's gifts, talents and resources on benefitting the community as a whole, while being equally focused on pursuing economic endeavors toward generating wealth.
As a young barber just beginning in the profession and working as an apprentice under the great Guster Lewis, Jr. at Lewis Hair Designer, he always harkens back and attributes his success in the field to the strong foundation in the industry he was afforded as a student at Harris Barber College in Raleigh, NC. coupled with an equally strong foundation in the business of being a barber and mentoring he received under Mr. Lewis. It wasn't just the fact that Lewis (as he is affectionately called by friends) would always insist that the young barber strive for excellence and greatness as it pertained to the skill of barbering. Lewis pushed him to seek to create opportunities for himself and the community through the platform that being a barber would naturally create.
It was a very honest "barbershop conversation" at Lewis Hair Designer in 1994 that became one of the two pillar moments that would eventually serve as the cornerstone concepts of Changing Faces Barbershop. Mr. Johnson, a well-known taxi cab business owner in Durham, N.C. during this conversation looked at the young barber and stated, "Son, we should have put more thought into integration. It has destroyed our communities. When I was a young boy growing up, we didn't have any money and my momma wasn't a scholar but she's always insist that I become educated. When I would have homework, she would always send me to get help with my homework from either the doctor who lived next door to us, or the attorney or dentist that stayed further down the street. When segregation ended, all the smart Black people, who could afford to, left. Now, when I drive through our communities, I'm disgusted at what I see. It's poverty everywhere and the little kids don't have any positive examples of success to see everyday and strive to be like." The statement alone was something to think about. But, the passion and despair that this very successful taxi cab business owner spoke with was even more significant.
In 1992, he co-founded the H.O.B.B.E.S. Hawks (Helping Our Black Boys through Education & Sports). In 1993, he renamed the team the H.A.W.K.S. (Helping All Willing Kids Succeed). What began as one 9-12 year old boys baseball team participating in the South Durham Youth Alethic League, the all black youth league, grew into the largest youth mentoring organization in North Carolina focused on youth and adolescent sports, cheerleading, tutoring, college tours, Lil Tykes program, and more.
Years earlier, as a high schooler, the young barber had gone to see the Spike Lee movie, "Do The Right Thing." In that movie, there was a scene where an exaggerated African American nationalist character by the name of Buggin Out, while eating his slice of pizza in the Italian owned pizzeria in the predominantly African American neighborhood, looks up to an array of pictures of famous Italian and Italian American men entitled the "Wall of Fame" and asks the only African American employee of Sal's Famous Pizzeria, "...why you ain't got no brothers up on the wall." Mookie stated, "Ask Sal." Sal's eventual weighty response was, "You want brothers on the wall? Get ya own place and you can do what you want...this is MY PIZZERIA; AMERICAN ITALIANS ON THE WALL ONLY!" The following exchange between Buggin Out and Sal would go on to be a very highly discussed and debated conversation in real life, even throughout academic circles. Buggin Out retorted, "Yeah, that's cool you own this and all, but every time I come in here, rarely do I see any American Italians eating in here. All I ever see is Black folks and since we spend MUCH MONEY in here, WE DO HAVE SOME SAY."
In 2005, Changing Faces Barbershop, Inc. began with it's own Wall of Fame, loaded with strong positive images of African Americans. This wall would eventually find its way to becoming the cover of the 2007 third studio album by NC's finest Little Brother entitled "Getback."
And as a answer to what the young barber always considered a Call to Action by Mr. Johnson, he would always insist Changing Faces Barbershop serve as a beacon of hope and success for the African American Community. Regardless of what was going on in their lives and their immediate communities, Changing Faces Barbershop would become neutral ground. Rival gang members would receive services at the same time, while college students from Duke University and North Carolina Central University also received pampering from their respective barbers. A myriad of conversations would flow between college administrators, single moms and grandmothers, successful businessmen and entrepreneurs all within earshot of kids waiting for service or employed at Changing Faces Barbershop. Changing Faces Barbershop had, "put more thought into integration" and it was working.
In 2015, Changing Faces Barbershop became #CFB4LIFE - An Urban Country Club. It had long since been referred to as "CFB" as an abbreviation and many barbers and long term patrons, during conversation would often exclaim "CFB4LIFE" in referring to their tenure at the business. Under the new business model, Changing Faces was no longer a "barbershop." The new name was allowed to reflect the new services, amenities and overall Community of the former Changing Faces Barbershop; #CFB4LIFE - An Urban Country Club, get the Country Club experience in an Urban environment.
COVID-19 AND 2020
On Monday, March 23rd across North Carolina we heard these words;
“I know that these actions cause hardship and heartache for a lot of people but they are necessary to save lives” —Governor Roy Cooper
At 5pm on March 25th, #CFB4Life — An Urban County Club would temporarily close down. Per the Governor’s executive order they would be allowed to reopen on May 15th. Although that would be extended, on April 24th 2020 #CFB4Life — An Urban County Club would shut its doors. The hardship brought about by the global pandemic and subsequent forced shutdown proved to be too much of an economic blow for the businesses to withstand. A former Durham H.A.W.K.S. kid, in response to the suicide of his brother, another former Durham H.A.W.K.S. youth, formed W.A.R. 4 Life (We Are Ready 4 Life). Using W.A.R. 4 Life as a vehicle to address suicide prevention and poverty through economic development in 2017. Later he would reach out to his former Durham H.AW.K.S. mentor, who was also an entrepreneur focused on economic develop, for additional mentorship. This rekindled band would lead to their working together through a host of organizations and work. Still, the partnership that would soon be on the horizon was not something planned or discussed.
In April 2020, after hearing news the closing of #CFB4Life — An Urban County Club, the former mentee reached out to his former mentor with a business proposition that would allow the legacy of #CFB4Life to live on, and to help expand the entrepreneurship efforts of W.A.R. 4 Life.
In June 2020 #CFB4Life changed course. After months of deliberation and a continued fervor to create impactful economic opportunities for families, it also changed its name; the acronym would now stand for Creating Family Business (4 Life) and in fact partner with the newly formed management company of the W.A.R. 4 Life brand and in August of 2020 opened it’s first business together; #CFB4Life Juice Bar, Deli, and CBD Store, a grab and go convenience store right in the heart of East Durham, North Carolina. The location is even more significant to both partners. One was raised in the community, while the other has always respected the longstanding history of family owned businesses central to the neighborhood.
Together, they seek to continue working to help other s improve their lives, especially those, like them who came from very humble beginnings and saw education and entrepreneurship as a ladder toward upward mobility. #CFB4Life Juice Bar, Deli, and CBD Store seeks to employ adolescents from Black and Brown communities and use these employment positions to teach entrepreneurship thus adding to the minority Entrepreneurship Pipeline.
And so the legacy of #CFB4Life continues….