By Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
For The Birmingham Times
A barbershop and beauty shop popped up last Wednesday at the Southtown public housing community.
Dream Makerz, an aspiring nonprofit, had barbers and cosmetologists pop into the community center to get boys and girls ready for this week’s Monday, Aug. 8 opening of Birmingham City Schools.
Hiranda Brock, Dream Makerz founder, said she wanted to give back to the community to “make the little girls feel pretty (and) make the boys feel confident with their fresh haircut.”
This was the second popup grooming session for Dream Makerz. The first was Monday at Morton Simpson in Kingston. Brock said these back-to-school events will be followed by other popup events at other Housing Authority of Birmingham District locations.
While cosmetologists and barbers donated their time and skills with haircuts and hair styling, churches and other sponsors provided supplies for children returning to the classroom.
“It’s us working together to make the world a better place and let the babies as well as (sheltered) women know that their dream is possible,” Brock said. “Anything is possible if we work together.”
A 28-year-old licensed cosmetologist, Brock said the idea of Dream Makerz came to her in a dream in December of 2015.
“I woke up at like 2 o’clock in the morning and I just started typing everything that God was saying to me into my cell phone,” she said, adding that she showed it to her sister Ebone Watkins. “She was like, ‘This is a business plan.’”
The name came from a Success Summit at Faith Walkers Church in Roebuck. “From then, it was just my steps being ordered and getting volunteers to go into shelters and bringing salon experiences to the community of less fortunate,” she said.
Beyond building esteem, the organization aims to make residents groomed for successful job interviews.
“My motto is, ‘When you look good, you feel good,’” Brock said. “I just try to bring that to everybody for free. It’s my passion to inspire people.”
Dream Makerz is comprised of eight people. In addition to Brock and her sister/manager Ebone Watkins, the group has six females ages 20 and younger. She has taught each to cut hair, the theory of haircare, hair design and nails.
“If cosmetology is something they want to do in life, it’s a foundation for them to begin. My dream is to have my own cosmetology school and for that school to actually be committed to the community. I want to service the underprivileged, the sheltered women, the low income communities and foster homes.”
Brock’s hope is that once trained her staff will provide volunteer haircare in low income communities through its Pamper Me Pretty Parties. Some of these parties have already been done at Jessie’s Place, a downtown shelter.
“The women would come in on a Saturday and Hiranda and the Dream Team would do their hair and sometimes they would do their nails,” said Watkins, who manages Dream Makerz through her Living Faith Management and Consulting company. “Really, we did a whole lot of fellowshipping and laughing.”
Beauticians and barbers who participated in last week’s events included Samuel Hardin, Raymond Shine and Bennie Mac of Bennie Mac’s on 1st; Tassady Smith of Salon Picassco; Quincy Moore of Moore Style and Barbershop; Brittany Whitsett of Beaute’; Rhegess B. Perry of Trim; Essica Buchanan of Professional Cutz & Stylez; Zakiyyah “Kiki” Rutledge of Boyz 2 Men, and independent Etter White.