“From Inner-City Violence to Manhattan’s High Priest of Haircuts: An Entrepreneur’s Tale of Resilience and Triumph”
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Charlie McCoy Oyekwe had a difficult upbringing that was plagued by violence, poverty, and drugs. However, Charlie was determined to rise above the circumstances of his childhood and achieve success. Today, he is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor, and men’s grooming expert, known in Manhattan as the “High Priest of Haircuts.”
With over 20 years of experience in the barber and beauty industry, Charlie has built a successful career in the field, working for L’Oreal USA’s parent company, Kiehl’s, and later starting his own companies.
His entrepreneurial skills were honed at Babson College, where he earned his education. Charlie is the founder and CEO of Artisan Luxury Brands, a creative agency and CPG parent company based in New York City, as well as the founder of The Grooming Alchemist, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the mental health and grooming of at-risk youth and former cult survivors.
Despite his achievements, Charlie’s path to success was not easy. The trauma he experienced in his childhood left a lasting impact that took years to overcome. Through therapy, self-reflection, and the support of mentors, Charlie was able to rebuild his life and become a successful entrepreneur.
In addition to his business ventures, Charlie is dedicated to giving back to his community and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs. He partners with the New York Department of Education to motivate and inspire students through The Grooming Alchemist and shares his journey with others as a member of the Black Economic Alliance and Black Government Contracting Club.
Charlie’s upcoming book, Shunned, will offer a powerful and inspiring narrative of his journey, one of overcoming obstacles and rising to the top. His mission is to empower men from overlooked communities and provide a source of motivation and inspiration to others.
At 20 years old, Charlie began his career as a volunteer at Watchtower Headquarters and later honed his skills in the grooming and beauty industry, working for companies such as L’Oréal and Kiehl’s.
His entrepreneurial skills and vision led to the creation of The Grooming Alchemist, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the mental health, wellness, and grooming of at-risk youth and former high-control group members or cult survivors. Through free grooming sessions, mentorship, and programming, Charlie reaches more than 300 middle and high school students in District 9 in the South Bronx, encouraging them to believe in their dreams and overcome adversity.