More Than a Shop: How a Baltimore barber is fostering community wellness

BALTIMORE -- WJZ is highlighting the creator of More Than a Shop for Black History Month.

In the Black community, a barbershop is more than a shop.

That's why veteran barber Troy Staton named his nonprofit "More Than a Shop."

"A barber is the keystone to the community," Staton said. "We understand what's happening in our community, what's going on. We are sacred spaces."

More Than a Shop is a network of barbershops, hair and nail salons that focus on wellness inside and out.

Staton has worked on this idea over the course of his career.

He began cutting hair as a kid.

About 20 years ago, he started putting art from Black artists in his shop. But, his idea really took shape in 2018 after a near death experience.

"I became a victim of a senseless shooting," Staton said. "A young man ran into my barbershop on Halloween and I was hit two times."

During his recovery, Staton dreamed up More Than a Shop after seeing his own community come to support him. He then turned that support into action, bringing even more resources to his neighborhood.

He now partners with heath care providers to do health screenings, offers free Wi-Fi, works with local libraries, and even gives out covid tests with his son helping him do it all.

"So, we became this epicenter and this resource center of not just looking good, but feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside," Rashad Staton said.

His idea is now being implemented in 14 barbershops, hair and nail salons across the city, including Maximum Style on East Baltimore Street.

"I am here to work alongside Troy through any and everything that he has going on," Maximum Style Owner Latreshia Maximo said. "I believe in all he's doing and I'm so excited about everything going forward."

Staton looks forward to expanding More Than a Shop, bringing wellness and support to even more people.

"If you train and you educate the barbers, stylists and the nail techs, we can address those issues directly with our trusted partnerships and our relationships," Staton said.

Staton said his next step is to open a Flagship More Than a Shop location.

Pharma exec won't commit to selling life-saving drug in U.S. for lower price offered in Canada

Missing Marines found dead

Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo previews Sunday's Super Bowl matchup