September 13, 2014  |  DetroitEntrepreneurship

Two “Brightmoor Gentlemen” Partner Up to Start a Business

Brandon Robinson and Cortez Walker are two barbers in Detroit’s Brightmoor community who always dreamed of owning and operating their own barbershop. Thanks to connections they made through their Family Independence Initiative (FII) cohort, they are now going to fulfill their dream together.

Brandon and Cortez helped form the FII cohort Brightmoor Gentlemen (BMG) in June of 2014, after learning about FII through the Brightmoor Community Center, where they both volunteered. Brandon is a licensed barber in the State of Michigan, while Cortez is working on obtaining his license. They both have been cutting hair for about ten years, with Cortez serving dozens of customers every week out of his home and Brandon traveling to customer’s houses.

Upon learning about their shared aspiration, Brandon and Cortez banded together and got to work.

They started looking for shop space in the Brightmoor area, reaching out to their BMG cohort for potential leads. Jerry, a cohort members, told the men that he knew of a building that seemed to be available for leasing and might fit their needs.

Through this connection, Brandon got in touch with the property owner to confirm availability. He also reached out to the Director of the Brightmoor Community Center to find out about financing options, as they would need capital to renovate the space.

Currently the men are in talks with all parties involved to develop an agreement where the Brightmoor Community Center, Brandon, and Cortez co-share ownership of the shop for a predetermined number of years before the two men are able to take full ownership.

If things go as planned, the men hope to have their barbershop open for business by the New Year!

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