Four years ago, Sebastian started working on his dream: opening The Social Club Grooming Company, an environmentally friendly grooming salon in Detroit. After 54 Kiva lenders supported his $5,000, 0% interest loan, The Social Club has grown to become a central hub for the Detroit community.
The Social Club is passionate about environmental impact. By acknowledging the vast amount of harsh chemicals and waste in the industry, Sebastian strived to create an environmentally friendly barbershop. The Social Club used the $5,000 loan to recycle waste hair clippings, which create compost that acts as natural fertilizer for trees. Since receiving the Kiva loan, they have partnered with a local park to plant 200 new trees. Each haircut at The Social Club means not only a refreshed style for the client, but a path to a greener Detroit.
“We want to design a system in which it makes it easy for other salons to participate in hair recycling so we can grow more trees for our parks and other public spaces in Detroit,” he said.
Sebastian recognized that barbershops have always been a community hub, not only within his neighborhood but across all cities. He wanted to harness this sense of community to start a multicultural barbershop that could bring people together across racial lines and foster needed conversation. One important step Sebastian took to achieve this goal was starting with his own business: his staff and clientele has always been diverse and he is proud of it.
To build and emphasize this community, The Social Club hosts a series of Shop Talks. This is where community leaders, activists, musicians, and other business owners are led in discussion with an audience, all while getting their hair cut. As a result, The Social Club promotes community causes as well as other small businesses in Detroit.
“It used to be that the barbershop wasn’t just a place to get a haircut or shave; it was the hub of the community, where people came together to bond, socialize and exchange ideas.”
Sebastian had the entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. After his first 3 business plans were rejected by Wayne State University, Sebastian’s resilience and determination helped him find his way to success with a business that has 2 bottom lines.
Small business owners like Sebastian are writing a new chapter for Detroit and playing a key role in the city’s redevelopment. To help other small business owners like Sebastian, make a loan today!