The best part of creating this magazine is the opportunities we get to sit down with some amazing people. It is not everyday we get to sit down with someone who has influenced the well-being of their community. Someone who has made it a point to place the needs of others before himself. A man who would give his last dollar in order to make sure YOU eat. It’s not everyday, we get to sit down with a Hero.
Dennis “Denny Moe” Mitchell, is the owner of Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop nested in the Harlem community. We chose to sit down with Dennis for this interview because we saw the things his organization were doing, and felt it would inspire others.
In the barbershop, Dennis is in his element. As he swings the clippers magically cutting with immaculate precision, Denny Moe is considered the best and only works with the best. As a celebrity barber he has cut hair for clients such as Carl Banks, Bobby Brown, Freddie Jackson, T-Pain, Ne-Yo, Keith Sweat, and the list goes on. We could do a whole story alone about his barbering experience, but maybe another time.
Dennis is a Humanitarian. A man who was raised to not place value on materialistic things, which enables him to give freely. Born in New York, his father left the household at age 11. As Dennis reminisces about his fathers touch, he confesses how devastated he was. “I cried for 3 months”, Dennis said. Like most sons do, Dennis aspired to make his father proud. When his father left, that aspiration left with him. His life seemed to head into a downwards spiral, as he kept getting into trouble, being rebellious and not completing his work at school. It wasn’t until he heard his mother crying one night, that he decided it was time for him to stop being so selfish and rebellious. He knew he needed to become a better man.
His family then moved to North Carolina, where his father had left to, but had never returned to the family as Dennis had hoped. Dennis continued to struggle in school and at home, and as he entered into the 11th grade he had two children to support. Needless to say, times were becoming more difficult. Dennis continued to move into a state of oblivion until one day he picked up a pair of clippers. Heading the JROTC Officers Ball, he needed a haircut. He found a brand new pair in his mothers drawer and proceeded to give himself a cut. Dennis impressed his friends later on that night at the ball and as a result began cutting hair for his friends. He decided to pursue it and began working in two shops at the age of 16. He built his clientele up and everything was going great until he was shut down for cutting hair without a license. His aunt, Margaret Hall, who was living in NY at the time, came down for a visit and heard about his new found talent. She decided to help him get the proper education by bringing him back to New York to live with her and put him through barber school.
While in school Dennis was afforded the opportunity to work Mr. Robert Flowers, who owned the Superstar Barbershop at the time. Mr. Flowers mentored Dennis and became somewhat of the father he never had. After his passing Dennis became the owner of what is now known as Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop. It continues to be a successful business in the community awarding students with scholarships, organizing a toy drive during the Christmas season, as well as handing out school supplies before the kids go back to school. His non-profit organization, Cutting for a Cure advocates for health and wellness in the community. By working closely with health care providers they are able to offer various kinds of health screenings. With the goal to galvanize the Health and Beauty industry around the world, the Cutting for a Cure event attracts many who would otherwise probably not get checked out, the opportunity to do so from the comfort of their local barbershop.
Dennis “Denny Moe” Mitchell has accomplish so much even in the face of adversity. He married at the early age of 21 and had two more children. Three out of the four have went on to graduate from college with degrees. Doing what he loves, provides him the oppurtuniy to improve lives of others. We hope that his story of triumph will inspire others that they can too do whatever they put their mind to. Some say there is always positive to come out of a negative situation. We just have to find it.