Entrepreneur, Maurice Hanks, Uses Barber Business and Cycling Advocacy to Improve Community
By Janey Tate
For generations, barbershops have been a central part of the Black community. Not only are they places for people to get a fresh haircut and get well-groomed, but they also serve as a place where men and women can be gainfully employed, receive advice and wisdom, and build community. For entrepreneur Maurice Hanks, he kept all of those ideals at the forefront of his vision when he launched Play Yo Part Barbershop in 2014.
The shop is decked out with flat-screen TVs, top-of-the-line barber equipment and decorated with black and red decor. Hanks takes pride in the family atmosphere he’s created between the staff and clients at Play Yo Part Barbershop, where he says everyone is welcomed. And business isn’t just a solo thing for Hanks. His wife’s business is located next door to his shop at a prime location on the NW 7th Avenue corridor in the NorthPoint Plaza. Sherita Hanks is an accomplished entrepreneur just like her husband and owns Extraordinary Taxes and Business Services.
Maurice Hanks shared with interviewer Janey Tate, what inspired him to get into the barber business and how he uses his entrepreneurial mindset to build his community for the better.
Janey Tate: Why did you decide to get into the barber business? What about it do you love?
Maurice Hanks: I decided to open a barbershop because everyone knows that barbershops, beauty salons, and churches have always served as hubs in the Black community. I love being able to bring people together, so it was an easy decision.
Janey: Why did you decide to open your shop on the NW 7th avenue corridor?
Maurice: The NW 7th Avenue corridor is a great location because it’s close to I-95. That makes it easier for people that live nearby, but also people that may live a little further to be able to access the shop.
Janey: What sets your barbershop services apart from the rest? What do your customers say about your business that keeps them coming back?
Maurice: The barbers and clients at our shop are a family. You can’t get that everywhere. Our customers love that about the shop and tell us that’s why they keep coming back.
Janey: Do you believe in giving back to the community in which your business is located? If so, what have you done via your business to give back to the community?
Maurice: I definitely believe in giving back to the community. For the past several years, we have sponsored bookbag/school supply drives and Christmas giveaways to provide additional support for local families.
Janey: Also, I see that you have started a community bike ride group called Break the Cycle. Tell me more about that and your mission.
Maurice: The name speaks for itself --Break The Cycle. We’re a growing community of urban cyclists who ride for a purpose. We’ve done rides to stop the violence, to raise cancer awareness, to bring an end to human trafficking, and to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. Ultimately, we’re using cycling to champion various causes to make a difference in the community while also encouraging more black and brown folks to get involved with the sport. The past few months we’ve gained a lot of attention with profiles on NBC6 and even your publication, Hy-Lo News. And we’re really excited as a group for the first time to be part of the Dolphins Challenge Cancer cycling event, which is a big deal. We’d love for the community to support us in that and help us reach our goal of $20,000. We’re almost there and we’re going to show up and show out.
Janey: That’s what’s up! And that was a fun interview getting to learn more about BTC…. Thank you for your time. Let’s share with anyone reading who wants a fresh cut from Play Yo Part, where can they find your business and connect with you guys online?
Maurice: We’re on Instagram @playyopartbarbershop or they can come check us out at 10645 NW 7th Avenue, Bay 102.
If you’d like to support Break the Cycle in the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, click here.
Uptown Avenue 7 has teamed up with Hy-Lo News to bring you the stories of the businesses that shape the 7th Avenue corridor in Miami-Dade county. Hy-Lo News is South Florida’s only news blog dedicated to Black and Brown Millennials. Through this partnership, we will bring you in-depth profiles of the entrepreneurs, investors, and community leaders invested in the 7th Avenue corridor.