Devon Reynolds, Sr. co-owns Brothers & Sisters Unisex Salon alongside Javan Bradley. In addition to running a successful business, Devon and Jovan offer much more than haircuts, often serving as father figures, problem solvers and community change makers. In 2019, they were honored by Neighborworks Rochester with the Community Leadership Award and in 2018, Devon was the recipient of The ESL Jefferson Award, which is part of the national Jefferson Award Foundation which strives to build a culture of service in communities across the country. Soon after this interview was recorded, Devon was also named to the Rochester Business Journal's Forty Under 40 list in recognition of both his business achievements and service to the community.
[1:00] Devon's roots in becoming a barber
[2:45] Opening up his own salon at age 23 and evolution as a conscious leader
"Once you understand who you are and your culture, it's hard not to find purpose...to see the voids and want to fill them."
Inspiration from his mother and The Black Panthers
(Documentary "The Black Panthers: The Vanguard of the Revolution"
"The more selfless I am, the more the universe sustains me...I'm being sustained and I have peace in that. I don't think I would have the same amount of peace if I was just about the profit. That's worth everything"
[11:45] Opening "Sweet Ida's" food pantry - now accepting produce thanks to new refrigerators from Mitch Gruber and Foodlink!
[15:00] Monthly community forums because barber shops are pillars of the black community - free haircuts for kids, health screenings, financial advisors
[17:00] Barriers to evolving more conscious businesses in the neighborhood
[20:00] Black entrepreneurship, ownership and group economics
BOSS Documentary: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/boss/video/boss-the-black-experience-in-business-nguxge/
[23:00] The importance of ownership and how Devon is trying to cultivate future black entrepreneurs and conscious leaders
Nikole Hannah-Jones in the New York Times 1619 Project (400th anniversary of slavery coming to America): https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html
[29:30] What could Rochester do to be a beacon for Conscious Capitalism, Inclusive Prosperity and Minority-Owned Businesses
The Mis-Education Of The Negro
The Fall of America
From Superman to Man
Driving past $6 corner store subs to get a $10 sub at Wegmans: "I would drive 20 minutes to go to Wegmans because of what they do for the community."
[36:30] Building a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem
[40:00] The future of Brothers and Sisters Unisex Salon - "The salon is kind of like an incubator for entrepreneurs to come out of it. So hopefully I can just keep producing talented people who come out of it that are more socially aware...I would love for the salon to grow, but I feel like I have a higher calling."
[42:00] Encouraging more neighborhood businesses to sustain community
On inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, owners and leaders: "if you can tap into them, educate them and make them more conscious, then the next twenty years would look really promising for Rochester."
"If you don't find peace, you'll definitely find purpose."
Visit Brothers and Sisters Unisex Salon on Dewey Avenue to get a haircut or to donate food, clothing, back to school supplies, thanksgiving turkeys (or to pick something up if you're in need)