Just the other day this kid asked me was I Jamaican, and I replied no. He countered with, “Then why did you name the shop Exodus, and why did you use those colors?” I get this question all the time, so let me break it down.

The Best Barber Shop in Atlanta was actually founded in 1998 in Stone Mountain,Ga. I had relocated from Buffalo,NY, to the Atlanta area just a year prior. One thing that became very obvious, especially in Stone Mountain, was that most of the people we provided service for, and worked with were from somewhere other than Atlanta. To add to this, the majority of us were recent arrivals.

I thought hard for a name. I didn’t wish to name the shop after myself, because I wanted everyone to feel as if it was their shop as well. Yes I’m the one who pays the bills, but this was to be a shop where each individual pulled his own weight. I wanted all the Barber/Stylists to think of, and conduct themselves as entrepreneurs with a stake in the company. So “Dan’s Barber Shop” was out!

Next I thought, “Hey we’re in Stone Mountain, why not call the shop ‘Mountain Top Barber Shop’?” Needless to say I was crazily ridiculed for that one.

Now at the time I was working in a small Salon temporarily while the shop was being renovated. I’d worked in another shop for a year and it had been a major struggle, but through faith, perseverance, hard work, consistency, and budget friendly marketing/hustling I managed to put together a steady clientele. I worked and was best friends with another brother, Carol “Junior” Levy.

Now when I say we struggled, that’s not just lip service! Now check this out. Everybody knows Christmas is a big money time for Barbers. That first Christmas eve we just knew we’d “come up” a little bit…WRONG!!! At the end of the night we’d only made enough to hit the liquor store and split a half-pint of Hennessy..MERRY CHRISTMAS!

OK, I have no money for gifts. Fortunately the incomparable Mrs. Brown (My Mom), had flown up with my two young children to visit. She blessed me with $200 for Christmas. I turned around and took my kids on a $100 a piece mini shopping spree at Toys-R-Us. Thank God for my Mamma!!!

All right, so I was “broke as hell”, so much so that I often went without electricity, cable, gas etc. I took to reading the Bible…from the beginning. The second book tells of the people, who came out of slavery in Egypt to travel to the promised land, the EXODUS. Here we were in Atlanta, surrounded by, and part of a large group who had traveled in mass to find a better life. To add to this I am a huge Bob Marley fan, “EXODUS, MOVEMENT OF JAH PEOPLE!” It became a “no brainer” the name would be Exodus Barber Shop.

Next was a logo. To this I turned to my incredibly talented friend Junior. I wanted the shop to the have an African representation, so the colors became Red (for the blood of the people), yellow(for the gold stolen from the land), and green (for the land from whence we came). With that being said I wanted all people and cultures to feel welcomed. After several sketches, Junior came up with the Exodus logo we have today. The only adjustment made was by the gentlemen who painted the logo on our window (Couldn’t afford a sign!). The original logo featured the red, yellow, and green vertically striped and somewhat blended together. The gentleman, whose name I don’t recall but was from the Island nation of Trinidad, painted the logo with solid horizontal stripes, hence giving it the look it has today.

We opened up in August of 1998, with 3 chairs, and 2 barbers…me and Junior. All these years later, Exodus is welcoming and comfortable for everyone, just as Bob would have wanted. One Love!

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

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