NG: The simple yet complex ancient Kemetic proverb says "Know Thy Self". Once you know yourself, it's important to know your purpose. After you have self-knowledge and understand your purpose, you must align yourself with link-minded people.
Kevin: Barbers and stylists have long served as advisors and confidants to their customers. What do you attribute this to?
NG: Historically, barbers and stylists were upstanding members of society because of their professional skill and their vast network. In a recent New Growth interview with Anthony Browder, entitled "Hair History" Browder discusses the importance of barbers and stylist in Ancient Egypt (Kemet). Browder stated the following: "In ancient Egypt, the royal barbers or hair stylist had to possess a high spiritual conciosness because their job was to lay hands on the nobles whose hair they groomed, styled, and cut. When barbers or hair stylist service clients today, they should be aware that they are transfering energy to their clients. In ancient times, wise people would not allow someone who was out of spiritual balance to perform any kind of personal service such as barbering or hairstyling on them." Since ancient times, barbers and stylist have served as advisors.
Kevin: What inspired you to work to develop this forum for informing and building community relationships?
NG: Vanessa Baxter, my late aunt who was one of Charlotte's first African_American news reporters/journalist was my primary source of inspiration. During my childhood, my aunt exposed me to literature, historical figures, and new ideas. After she passed on, I felt charged to carry on their legacy. The barbershops and the beauty salons seemed like the ideal place to capture and communicate the voice of the community.
Kevin: What was the purpose of starting New Growth?
NG: NGHM is the printed version of the conversation that occurs in the barbershop and beauty salon. Clients spend hours in salon or barbershop but spend very little time talking about hair related issues. The majority of the conversation is centered around the following topics: relationships, money, health, and community issues. The goal of NGHM is to create New Growth in the hair industry by empowering barbers and stylists, encouraging healthy lifestyles, cultivating relationships with Dr. Luv, and becoming a community connector. We want to help our readers grow their hair and their minds with our publication.
Kevin: What is your personal connection to the hair industry?
NG: Before New Growth, I didn't have a direct connection to the the hair industry, but I was indirectly connected because I served as a tax accountant and small business advisor to several barbers, stylists, barbershop and beauty salon owners. After more than a decade of learning about the business of hair, I gained the confidence to launch New Growth.
Kevin: When and where did New Growth begin?
NG: The fall of 2012, New Growth began as a vehicle to give a voice to the barbers, stylists, clients, and the overall community who frequented the barbershops and beauty salons. New Growth Hair Magazine is based in Charlotte NC.