Yusef Hood is a 22 year old Business Management major from Chicago, Illinois. He is a barber and artist. Yusef is the CEO and creator of Bred In Butter which is a line of 100% natural hair and beauty products specifically designed for people of color and their distinct curl patterns. On top of being the Co-CEO of Renaissance Group, an organization that strides to prove the ultimate social experience for millennials on several different platforms: business development, health and fitness, artistry, entertainment, education, civic engagement, and politics. Entrepreneurship is clearly something he’s passionate about and with his creativity he is painting a bright future for himself. Support a man with a dream!
Check out his website: yusefhood.com
Tierra: How long have you been cutting hair?
Yusef: Since I got to Howard (freshman year) Fall 2012.
Tierra: What inspired you to start cutting hair?
Yusef: My mom kind of planted that seed, dropped that in my head pretty early that I should start cutting… that’s how I’m gonna make money in college. I draw so that kind of gave me some of the skills to get in it… and I needed bread and it was orientation day so I decided to stand on the table and tell everybody that I was a barber.
Tierra: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve taken that you feel has paid off?
Yusef: Really putting all of my focus into my craft. It was a risk, especially being in the school of Business my reason for coming was to get the best job and all of peers were getting internships and really pressing forward but I honestly knew that I wasn’t interested and that wasn’t where I wanted to be. It sucked, accepting where I was especially because all of the pressures from everywhere was just urging me to fall in line and just do certain things. But I said forget that, these are the things I can do and can get done by perfecting my craft as much as I can.
Tierra: So do you eventually want to have your own barbershop?
Yusef: Yeah, that’s one of thing’s that I want to do and bring that into fruition. But this is just a vehicle to get to these places and make things happen.
Tierra: How did you start believing in your work and talent?
Yusef: I would say… when people came back. I thought that was wild, the fact that people really trusted me and came back. I mean the cut would be nice, but because I was new to it, it would take a minute. But people would be like I mean you take a minute but this better than what I’m getting on Georgia Ave. I was like y’all gassing, but they would keep coming back. So, I was like I’m gonna keep working at it and I have a pretty good clientele.
Tierra: What song do you listen to that motivates you?
Yusef: As of lately, Maneuver x Kodak Black. The song changes every two to three weeks…
Tierra: What is one thing you do when you feel stuck creatively ?
Yusef: I get really quiet and I just try to cut everything off and everybody back and I just relax.
Tierra: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your teenage self?
Yusef: Do it. Draw it, Write it, Print it, Read it… Just do it and keep with it.
Tierra: I see that you’re starting to get more into art and painting, what made you start this?
Yusef: I didn’t realize that I was kind of congested… having a lot inside of me. I would say the past year or two bI’ve had a lot of experiences… some great some horrible. But having dealt with all of that and making it through, I just got really quiet and a lot of thoughts came to me and I was able to think of different ideas and just ponder new thoughts and draw. I just decided to actively make a little more time to draw. It’s really freeing and allows me to do better in everything else, schoolwork and cutting hair.
Tierra: What do you usually draw?
Yusef: I try to draw what’s in my head. I have a lot of things I saw or read and I just try to remember and capture whatever is happening and get it out. But I use a lot of portraits, thing’s I’ve seen… trees, I’m really fascinated with trees.
Tierra: If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of young people what would it be?
Yusef: Believe in yourself…
Tierra: So basically, the magazine I’ve recently created is called DYNAMITE! and I’m interviewing and highlighting young African-American people who do great things in their communities… So how do you feel media portrays the lives, struggles, and joys of young African-American people?
Yusef: I think that they portray us as some troubled child that’s always going through something. And it’s not necessarily taken as real as it is… or as if it was there own kids. Because most of the people behind the scenes when it comes to media is White or not Black all together. So, it’s not being portrayed as an oppressing issue that covers all… it’s just “their” issue (as in Blacks).