“A Barbershop for the Community Not just in the Community!” Photograph: Raphael Anderson
James Bryant AND Kevin Smith
Two Men who defeated all odds and are taking it back to the community from which they came.
By Crystal Flowers
Published: Feb. 3rd 2021
James Bryant grew up in Live Oak, Florida, graduating from Suwannee High School. After graduating, James went in the national guard, later signing up for active duty. He served from 1994-2005 as a 92G (Food Service Specialist). During his time in the Army, James worked for General George Higgins in Korea, which led him to be able to meet President Clinton in Kosovo. After completing his term in the Army, he continued to work in the food service industry as a General Manager.
Kevin Smith co-owner went from a military brat to a military solider. He moved to Live Oak, Florida in 1987, also graduating from Suwannee High School. Upon graduating, Kevin went on to serve 7 years in the United States Army. Kevin’s greatest accomplishment, is his wife of 23years and his beautiful children. Together these two gentlemen decided to embark on a journey, that would make them two successful black men in the community of Oak Live, Florida
What was the key driving force to becoming an entrepreneur?
The key driving force was the idea of ownership. Being an inspiration to young black males and showing our children, that it is possible to achieve your goals and dreams through hard work and preparation.
Where did the idea derive from?
The idea started in the year of 2000. Due to both of our military careers and being stationed in different states, we were unable to implement the ideas of our business until the year 2006. In 2006, we birth our first barbershop “Precision Kutz and Styles" in Montgomery, Alabama. From there, a second location was opened on the eastside of Montgomery, Alabama. In 2019, we decided that we wanted to help rebuild our community in Live Oak, Florida. And that’s where "KJ’s Kutz and Styles" came into play.
How would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out from the rest?
We recently changed the name "KJ’s Kutz and Styles" to "KJ’s Kutz and Lounge". We believe, what gives us a competitive edge, is that we are able to provide more than one service. We offer top-notch haircuts, great quality food at affordable prices, car wash services as well as event bookings. Therefore, providing a one stop shop.