DETROIT – To own and grow a small business, one has to have that special drive -- and there’s one Black business owner who is using his own success to help others get in the game and thrive.
For Triandos Ginn, better known as Tree, entrepreneurship comes naturally.
“I was raised in the hair salon. It was kinda easy for me,” Ginn said. “My mother made sure I understood the business, she was going to make me an entrepreneur whether I wanted to be or not.”
His mother owned her own salon and convinced Ginn to do the same.
He opened Directions Salon in Detroit in 1988.
“When we got downtown, there weren’t a lot of Black businesses at all,” Ginn said. “She made it clear to me that downtown wouldn’t be the same, so get down there now. This was in 86, but I didn’t understand that but she was right, like always.”
His strong entrepreneurial spirit wouldn’t allow him to be satisfied with just the salon and he started another successful business venture -- TV Lounge and Bar.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he’s had to become more creative. Ginn knows the importance of paying it forward and he estimates he’s helped more than 40 stylists become entrepreneurs themselves, learning under his tutelage and then starting their own salons.
Another trait he inherited from his mother is his giving spirit. He started the nonprofit Love Only Inc, where he uses some of the proceeds from the salon and bar to feed as many as 150 people every Tuesday for free.
“Most of the help I get is from the stylists here and the people that work in the bar,” Ginn said.
He has advice for anyone thinking about entrepreneurship.
“The biggest point I can tell young people coming to be an entrepreneur is to make sure their family members and their friends -- who ever their backbone is -- to stay with them,” Ginn said.