There's always room for another scoop. Two Scoops Creamery, famous for their unique (and sometimes blue!) ice cream flavors, was founded by three best friends who share a mutual love for ice cream. Marques Johnson learned how to make ice cream from his family, Jae Hatchett is the Managing Partner scooping up good vibes in stores, and Rich Moyer is a professional golfer and entrepreneur.
Shop till you drop at Five13 Studio! Owner Jekia Benson, a forever fashion lover, began her career as an IT specialist slash stylist. She started growing the shop's online presence in 2013, before opening a brick-and-mortar shop in the Shops at the Winnifred in fulfillment of her college dream to own a boutique clothing store. Jekia continues to bring vibrancy to South End with her style and help in organizing signature neighborhood events!
704 Shop is owned by three formed UNC Charlotte roommates, Scott Wooten, Jerri Shepard, and Christopher Moxley. Scott and Christopher are from Charlotte, and Jerri is from Statesville. The trio share a mutual love for their hometowns and created the apparel brand as a way to show pride in the Queen City.
Feel in tune with your body at Kika Stretch Studios, owned by former professional dancer Kika Wise. Kika Stretch has 14 locations, and Kika is one of just three Black women franchisors in the United States.
Benny Watkins never thought that he would become a salon-owner. He started his career as a mechanic, following in his father's footsteps in his hometown of Rockingham, NC. He started cutting hair as a way to avoid weekly visits to the barbershop, and later made the tough decision to join the Army during operation Desert Storm. He was injured during his time in the military, and later used his mechanical engineering skills as a prop-master at Paramount. When it came time to start building a family, Benny enrolled in Dudley's Beauty College. He worked as a top-stylist in various salons before opening Bentala Salon in 2009, making it one of the longest-standing businesses in the neighborhood.
Jekia Benson and DeAnna Allen, owners of Five13 Studio and The Brown Sugar Collab, had an idea to create a "black box" retail space in South End, where different businesses can pop-up to showcase their products for a short amount of time. Coterie Concept, made possible through an Innovation Fund grant, will allow businesses to test the waters of brick-and-mortar retail without the commitment, or limitations from banks and landlords.
Uptown Yolk is coming soon to South End! Subrina and Greg Collier are re-opening the restaurant in The Vantage building in 2022. Subrina and Greg also own Leah & Louise, the wildly successful restaurant in Uptown's Camp North End. Greg, with two James Beard nominations under his belt, will be chefin' up breakfast staples made with locally sourced ingredients at Uptown Yolk.
Garrison Gist, known as Paint Can Papi, and Rel Mariano, or Trash Genius, are the masterminds behind the From Charlotte With Love mural found at Wooden Robot Brewery. Garrison is a Rock Hill native who played football at University of South Carolina, where he also received a BFA. Rel, also a rapper, was born and raised in Charlotte and always dreamed of big city life when he was young. After traveling to places like New York and Los Angeles, he realized that Charlotte will always be home. He strives to bring recognition to the wonders of Charlotte through his art and iconic phrase, "From Charlotte, With Love."
Georgie Nakima's Stronger Together mural was her first in South End. A graduate of Winston Salem State University's Biology program, her art is inspired by science and geometry. Today, she "empowered to plant seeds of art and science together in hopes to carry conversations of well-being, nature preservation, and humanity."
John Hairston Jr. was born and raised in Charlotte and is inspired by street art and hip-hop. He is an activist and often hosts workshops with various nonprofits in the region. His piece, Mario and Friends, can be found at Slingshot!