How She’s Making It Work: Brittany Barnes

There are nearly 2.7 million Black women-owned businesses in the United States, making this one of the fastest-growing categories of business owners. To celebrate some of the amazing women who are contributing to this growth, we spoke with entrepreneurs from an area in Oakland area where Ayesha’s Sweet July flagship store is located. Endearingly dubbed The Block, the buzzy strip is known for its Black female-owned businesses. Here, GoodBody owner Brittany Barnes shares how she got where she is, her best advice, and how she’s coped with the challenges of the last year.

As the founder of this new modern salon that offers hair, brow, and lash services, she’s made it her mission to celebrate texture diversity and help women prioritize self-care.


“It’s encouraging to see people who look like you do things you hope to do.”

It began as a passion project for me. I had noticed that, as a Black woman with deeply textured, kinky hair, I always had an issue with finding reliable, efficient hair care. For Black women, the search for a good salon can be a real pain. I wanted to change that. So, in 2018, I started doing research and came up with a business plan for a salon. I actually think of it more as a space that celebrates women with deeply textured hair and the beauty experience that they’ve always deserved but never had before.


The importance of doing the work. That may sound like a cliché, but it’s true. It can be tempting to get caught up in the stuff like getting good press, but you have to make sure you’re setting the foundation to hold your business up for the long run—the things that make up the day to day. If you try to skip that part, your business will not succeed.

Image courtesy of GoodBody Instagram

I’m a positive pessimist and I think that has helped me. I always try to think of the worst-case scenarios because they really help you understand what could happen so you’re prepared for it. I would say to them, “Think of all the worst-case scenarios. Then think of how you will feel if you don’t go for it. Chances are that nothing is worse than looking back 10 years from now and wishing you had tried.”

It fills me with pride. It’s just so encouraging to see people who look like you do the things you hope to do. We are constantly referring people to each other’s businesses. That kind of support is invaluable. It’s something I try to do for other women—leave little cookie crumbs that lead people back to supporting other Black-owned businesses.



As seen in the pages of Sweet July Magazine. 



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