From the first time he cut his brother's hair at 14, Kendrick Boulware Sr. discovered a love for hairdressing.
Since then, he's been able to turn that passion into a career, and he opened Kendrick's Kave Barbershop in June 2019. The Durham barbershop offers haircuts, shaves and hot towel services.
"I get to get up every day and do what I love,” Boulware said.
Across the Triangle, other Black-owned barbershops provide not only a much-needed service to people, but also a community space.
The legacy of Black barbers dates back to the 19th century and earlier, according to Duke University's Left of Black website, as hubs for gathering and solidarity in some communities. In the 20th century and during the Great Migration, Black barbershops also served as a resource for Black Americans who moved to new cities.
Kevin Bowick, the owner of Masterworks Barbershop, was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of owning a business upon opening his shop last March.
“Being able to make people happy, make people smile and make people feel good is what makes me happy,” he said.
Located in Durham, Masterworks Barbershop provides haircuts for men, women and children, as well as mustache and beard care and facials. Bowick said he serves a variety of clients, from doctors and lawyers to blue-collar workers, as well as people of different ethnicities.
Masterworks Barbershop opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused challenges for the business. Since shops in North Carolina were closed for several months before the shop opened, Bowick had to be innovative in order to keep his business running.