There aren’t many major or small businesses that can confidently close their doors after a few years only to reopen a little over a year later to even greater success. Yet, that is exactly the case with Harlem’s upscale men’s grooming spa, BBRAXTON, which offers grooming, barbering and therapeutic treatments. The establishment, which launched in the fall of 2006, closed in the fall of 2009 and resumed business in the winter of 2011, is the brainchild of Tony-nominated Broadway actress Brenda Braxton (Smokey Joe’s Café, Chicago).
BBRAXTON’s loyal clientele is a testament to the vision of Braxton as manifested in the grand sophistication of her space, the high quality services and the attentive customer service.
Braxton spoke to rolling out about the importance of research in starting a business, how adhering to the universe’s divine order is responsible for her success, plans to develop an empire and more.
What advice do you have for first-time entrepreneurs?
Do your research. I am a research queen. I go online, Google and do all kinds of stuff to understand the field, my competitors and the costs. I also took a business plan-writing course but you can learn just as much with a business plan template. You need a plan to apply for funds but also for yourself since there are many changes from the time you conceptualize the business to the time you open your doors.
What’s unusual about the way that you run your business?
I don’t like doing business the way others do since many are shady and not fair. I am always fair with my employees and clients. You can’t try and get over on people because that will come back on you. I’ve learned if you’re fair then you will get what the universe has for you. There is a divine order to everything. What you put out you get back.
What do you rely on for making major business decisions?
I live by my heart, gut, spirit and soul and that carries over into my business. For example, I made the very difficult decision to close the doors completely during a time when I had a lot of personal issues. I had people that didn’t really want to be here and didn’t fit the brand. It was the universe telling me to clean house and get my life together. Now we are open again and doing better than ever. That has a lot to do with my spirituality.
Where do you see the company in five years?
We plan to open up the doors to a BBRAXTON in Atlanta this fall. I also plan to introduce our grooming product line for gentlemen then. Finally, I’m starting a blog titled, BBRAXTON: An Exceptional Point of View on relationships and romance.
How do you recharge after a long day?
I turn off the computer and cellphone. Then, I like to have a nice juicy steak, a salad, a glass of red wine and watch a funny movie. I then end the night with some ice cream for dessert.