WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — March is Women’s History Month and WPTV is taking time to highlight local entrepreneurs who are breaking barriers and achieving success through their local businesses in the historic community of Northwood in West Palm Beach.
Northwood is a community deeply rooted in history that continues to see growth. Among the latest trend is women-owned Black businesses.
“It’s hopeful. It reminds me of back in the day, when we had a lot of Black businesses in the area all over Palm Beach County,” said Denise Williams, owner of Mo Betta Braids and Things.
The influx of new business is a movement she says has come full circle. Williams is credited with opening up the first natural hair care and braiding salon in Palm Beach County.
“We were here and then we were gone and now we’re coming back, it’s exciting,” said Williams.
One of the latest shops to open along Northwood Road is LVNDR. It’s a play on the word “lavender.”
LVNDR is a new wellness concept that specializes in healing arts, offering massages, sound therapy and relaxation sessions.
"One of the best reasons to get a message is that it puts you in tune with your body,” said LVNDR Owner Dr. Cynthia Grace.
Grace is a psychologist who brings over 20 years of experience to the community. Back in 1998, she opened the very first spa in Harlem, New York.
“And one reason why you want that is that you have a better chance of knowing when something is wrong,” she said.
At night, the spa transforms into a local lounge offering wellness through live music, dance and art.
“We need to have fun,” said Grace. “We forget about the importance of having fun in communion with other people.”
A few blocks over and soon to come, you will find Northwood’s very own youth and adult dance studio offering ballet, modern jazz and hip hop.
“It’s an opportunity for there to be representation, for there to be a safe space for little brown and black boys and girls to come and dance freely,” said Samantha Cyprian, owner of Soul Movement.
After four years of renting, the West Palm Beach native and artistic director is looking forward to a having a new place to call her own—setting the foundation to go beyond teaching dance routines.
“It’s about the whole child, it’s about enriching not just them but the community itself ,” said Cyprian, “and I think that will allow us to really tap into that even more.”
“I chose Northwood, because it’s a very charming and artsy area and I just love the neighborhood,” said Vanessa Griffin.
Griffin is the owner of Sophisticated Lash and Nail Spa along 25th Street. She is another West Palm Beach native who she specializes in using chemical free products to suit her client's needs.
“I feel there’s a lot of people that want to be pampered and taken care of and there’s a lot of sickness,” said Griffin. “People with diabetes and cancer, and I want to create an atmosphere for them to come in and be welcomed.”