In honor of Black History Month, we are also highlighting our black-owned and refugee and immigrant business owners who make up our wonderfully diverse Northeast community.
621 Prospect Avenue
Muhubo Jama moved to Kansas City in 1993 from East Africa. She lives in the Northland but she opened her business, Jama Imports, on Prospect Avenue in 2003.
“We grew to like Northeast,” said her brother, who runs the business with her, “From working here every day; we know a lot of people.”
Jama Imports sells women’s clothing, fragrances, home decor, furniture and more. When she first opened her store, the location had previously been a restaurant, so the ceilings were low and the atmosphere was dimly lit. Over the years, she has put a lot of work into the space to brighten it up.
“So many things are changing now,” she said. “It’s safer now. They’ve changed a lot of things in our area.”
One Way Clothing,
2700 Independence Avenue
Sam purchased One Way Clothing from the previous owners in 2014. He commutes from Kansas but likes owning a business in Northeast.
“The people are very nice. The CID is doing a very good job, keeping the streets clean, it’s much better than it was years before.”
In addition to providing fashionable clothing to local residents, his business brings in shoppers from other areas of the city, as far south as Grandview.
One Way Clothing offers a complete fashion look, from ball caps of all styles to T-shirts, hoodies, jeans, and shoes focusing on urban styles and the latest name brands.
The shop also provides services including utility bill payments and complete cell phone service. Complete cell phone services include new phones, phone activation, and accessories.
Located at 2700 Independence Avenue, the store opens daily at 10 am. Monday through Saturday the store is open until 8 pm and Sundays until 6 pm.
Ted’s Barber Shop,
2631 Independence Avenue
Ted Davis has been cutting hair for over 36 years, 16 of those years on Independence Avenue. Prior to opening up in Northeast, he cut hair at Oney’s Barber Shop near 55th & The Paseo.
Davis was recognized by Mayor Mark Funkhouser as being the first black-owned barbershop on Independence Avenue.
In 2005, while standing behind a client in his shop, Ted had a major stroke and was told he’d never cut hair or walk again. Fifteen years later, he’s a living testament to a can-do attitude.
“I cut everyone’s hair, black, white, it doesn’t matter, anyone who comes in here.”
When asked what his favorite thing about being in Northeast, Ted quickly responds “the people.” “I just like being around here,” he said. “Anywhere I go people greet me and say hi.”
Pachudas African Hair Braiding,
3618 Independence Avenue
Pachudas African Hair Braiding, located at 3618 Independence Avenue, has been serving the public for two-and-a-half years.
Regina said she started her business because she has been doing hair all her life and decided to open a shop of her own for the community.
Because of her schedule, her shop is open by appointment only, but she accepts walk-ins on Saturday and Sunday.
During our Saturday afternoon discussion, Regina was working swiftly on one customer, twisting clean, tight braids with incredible ease.
Regina recently became a member of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and said a big factor was the Titan security team who are a phone call away.
“I wanted to do that because it’s good to have community,” she said. “I also have security. They gave me their number and said if something is wrong or I need help, they will help me. It makes me feel safe and to have communication with people.”
Ultimately, Regina said braiding in her own shop on her own hours brings her a lot of joy.
“My shop is like my house,” she said. “I am very, very happy. I put a lot of work into this place. When I first started, I just said ‘I’m going to try and do my best’ and two-and-a-half years later, I am still here.”
To contact Regina for an appointment, call 816-394-5287.