I believe that creativity is freedom.

Houston White, founder of HWMR and barber, talks about putting structure around creativity, working with the end in mind, building community, and freedom in creativity.

About the speaker

Houston White Jr. is the owner of H. White Men’s Room in North Minneapolis, and the creator of the Black Excellence Movement and the HWMR lifestyle brand.

Houston’s entrepreneurial career started at the age of 12 when he received his first pair of clippers. He attended Moler Barber College and has been a professional barber for over 20 years. After completing barber school, Houston began his career at the Chisler barbershop and was one of the co-founders of the MassAppeal Barbershop. Always the innovator, in 2004, Houston laid the foundation for the successful “H. White Custom Homes”, remodeling over 25 homes and building 20 new homes in Minnesota.

In 2008, Houston opened H. White Men’s Room and created his own line of HWMR grooming products that are paraben free and made with all-natural essential oils. The product line has been expanded to include the HWMR lifestyle brand, whose mantra is Excellence, more specifically, Black Excellence.

With mass media shedding a negative light on black men, Houston felt compelled to show a true representation of black men in our community. From there, the Black Excellence movement was born. The idea is to spark a renaissance uniting the artist and the entrepreneurs and take control of the economics, politics, and the media within our own community.

Houston White has expanded his title into social entrepreneurship and is using the platform of Black Excellence to engage the community. He mentors young men giving them an up close look at the day-to-day interactions amongst gentlemen and the behind the scenes grind that goes into running a business. Houston also sits on the board of The Harvest Initiative, which is a group of black businessmen working to bring about educational choice for children and economic development. Houston is a board member of The Webber Camden Neighborhood Organization (WCNO). WCNO advocate for residents on crime and safety, sponsor fun events during the year and provide senior and home loan programs through Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) funding.

Houston’s model for success is “Dream, plan, execute.“

Favorite quotes from this talk See all

Four years later, we had a company that had done ten million dollars in sales through this process of being creative, of sticking to it, but then putting those barriers around it to actually give us something that could scale. — Houston White

In my life, my desire to be free, my creative mind that's kind of all over the place, at some point had to figure out purpose. You can lead with that creativity, but you've got to put some structure around it and have an end goal. — Houston White

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