We had the good fortune of connecting with J. Kyle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi J., can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I knew that I wanted to do something that would benefit the core of a person! It started over 10 years ago, in my early barbering days when I had to cut the hair of a man who had a severe developmental disability. I knew because I was worked as a caretaker overnight at the group home he lived in. He was what the industry at that time labeled “extremely behavioral” because if triggered he would become violent. The agency I worked for had training that taught us how to place violent clients in submission holds until the client calmed down, for their protection as well as those around them. However, in that training, they told me there was no “skip method” (the technical name of the takedowns/holds) that would work on this guy because he was too strong and too violent so we had to focus more on the signs that lead up to his behaviors and attempt to redirect him from those points. Well, this same guy, was brought to the barbershop I was working in at that time, accompanied by 2 male staffers. He had to wait in the van for his turn because they were uncertain how he would respond in the shop to the people there. Long story short, it was during his haircut that I seen this person completely relax for the first time ever in the years I had worked with him… Oh, I forgot to mention this guy was non-verbal, so he didn’t express what was frustrating him. It was at that moment that I had the epiphany… it doesn’t matter if you can verbalize it or not, it doesn’t even matter how mentally developed you are… EVERY HUMAN has a need to feel their best and be their best. From that moment I had the desire to help people feel and be their best. That thought process has followed me all the way to this point of my life in starting my company.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I originally started J.KyleGrooming, Inc., a nonprofit educational company in January of this year. The company’s mission was to refine the social and economic resources of a community by reforming the psychological, emotional & physical health of its members through Community Health Based Barbering and Barbering Education. We were excited to introduce this wave of education because we had developed a type of education that was and still is, unseen in the professional beauty industry, especially as a full curriculum. While we still carry that same mission, covid happened, and because we were designed to be a hands-on, in-person organization, we were at a standstill. As a young startup, in need of as much financial help as we could get, we faced a major financial struggle due to the pandemic. As a result of statewide mandated shutdowns, I personally lost 1 of 2 jobs that I lived off of so that forced my attention away from the startup and toward survival. That wasn’t the biggest setback though, the biggest setback was the believing that I couldn’t bounce back from that. Believing that I was just going to struggle forever because the start was my “golden ticket” and it just blew away. It was a conversation that I had with my friend and business mentor, John Mosley that helped me gain a new perspective. God used him to help me see that I was standing in a pothole on the road of life, and since it didn’t bury me that meant I could get out of it. Potholes are inevitable, some times you dodge them other times you fall in, either way, you just have to keep moving forward. Prepare for them while the road is smooth so that next time you don’t feel it as much. That’s what I needed to hear! With his help and guidance. I not only began to change my thinking, but I also began to make some business pivots. I used the life lessons that I learned during this covid season as well as others from earlier life challenges, and I synchronized them with barber industry lessons I teach my students every day in school. That merge of life and business lessons birthed my first ever podcast show with a full first season entitled, “LifeGrooming: the Podcast”. That grew into my own youtube channel called, “LifeGrooming: the Channel”. Presently today I am working on my second season of the podcast and the launching of my new website, (Thelifegroomingsuite.com) where all of my creative expressions (poetry, blogs, videos, etc) of life lessons will reside and be accessible to all who visit. Since I’ve had some success with lifegrooming as a brand, I decided to turn the brand into a subsidiary of J.klylegrooming, inc. That transition has been my most recent focus and success. This journey has been one of the most difficult ones in my life because this was all preceded by a tumultuous ending of a toxic relationship that delivered a lot of mental and emotional breakdowns that drove me to therapy and counseling for the first time in my life. I’m grateful for the counseling/therapy because it helped me to discover identity and codependency challenges that I wasn’t aware of. With God’s grace and guidance, I have grown and healed a great deal and decided to write a book about it that I just finished in October and it will be published by or before Christmas of this year! I want the world to know, in the same way, we need consistent natural grooming of our hair, skin, and external image, the same is true for internal image… who we truly are in our thoughts, reasoning, and emotions need just as much and sometimes more grooming.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, this list won’t be that long as I’m still learning the area, because I just relocated from upstate NY in March of last year. If I had to name a few places it would be: Church: Embassy City Church in Irving Breakfast tacos: Rudy’s Dessert: Tiff’s Treats Chicken Spot: Raising Caines & Pluckers Fun: Top Golf, Indoor Sky diving, Rockledge Park, an indoor gun and indoor archery range (sorry I don’t remember the names, but it was fun…lol), Studio Movie Grill, and just about any jazz/r&b open mic… UGH… I NEED COVID TO DISAPPEAR !!!! THIS HAS ME MISSING GOING OUT!!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and Foremost: Jesus Christ, I simply am… because He is. My First Mentors Ever: Pastors Marc & Amanda Thompson of NewDay Ministries in Schenectady, NY. My Mentor & Identity Coach: Kevin Thornton My Therapist: Deanna Dorta My Pastor: Tim Ross (@upsetthegram) My Business Mentor & Friend: John Mosley (@popular_nobody) My “Chamily” – too many to name but they know who they are…lol My Family: Margie Owens (mom), LaSandra, Michael & Jason Owens (siblings) Organization(s): Embassy City Church, Paul Mitchell The Barber School Arlington Books: The Bible, Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
Youtube: “Lifegrooming: The Channel”