BROADWAY ACTRESS BRINGS BACK “OLD SCHOOL” ELEGANCE TO HARLEM
NEW YORK (June 16, 2011) – An African American actress and entrepreneur who traces her roots to the Caribbean is on a renewed mission to uplift men of color in Harlem and the surrounding communities.
Brenda Braxton, a Tony-nominated Broadway singer and actress, returned this year to the store she operated from 2006 to 2010 to provide “exceptional grooming for exceptional men.”
CAPTION: Brenda Braxton is back in business.
And, her return to 1400 Fifth Avenue (at 116th Street) was needed because of the multiple pressures men of color had to face.
“Our gentleman in the African American and Latino community have been beaten down on so many levels – whether it is getting stopped just because you have a good car or you happen to be dating a Caucasian woman,” the businesswoman observed.
The actress who made bread on Broadway wants to help the traditional breadwinner and sees her mission as “to be an African American woman that builds you up and makes you feel good – you walk through that door you are king!”
Last year Braxton was forced to close the establishment, which she opened with her then husband in 2006, due to financial challenges.
“But, I have returned reorganized, regrouped and with a new investor on board,” she declared.
You get much more than elegant grooming at BBraxton; the stylish shop has become known as a networking location where businessmen, artists and musicians network, drink coffee, sip cocktails, and moreover, get a good hair cut.
Braxton, whose grandfather hails from the Caribbean island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, considers her mission a no-brainer.
“It’s nothing new … back in the 30s and 40s, our gentlemen were dapper. I don’t know where they lost it down the line, but my grandfather, my uncle, my father they always looked good, they always had their hair cut and had the right slacks or shirt on … so I am just bringing it back to where it used to be.”
Looking back at her struggles as a teenager and later in her marriage and business, Braxton is grateful to God to have the opportunity to be of service to her brothers through grooming services which range from hair cuts to pedicures to maintaining dreadlocks.
“Whether it is through laughter or complimentary treatments, our mission is to make people feel good and feel better about themselves – from their head to their feet.”
Braxton believes God is not through with her as yet: “Looking back at some of the things that I have gone through, it’s by the grace of God that I am here,” she said, as she spoke of plans to open a sister store in Atlanta, and sharing her musical and theatrical talents with international audiences.