Urban Starzz

A Social impact local business that combined salon, shop and Service.


Urban Starzz was one part barber shop, salon and spa, one part storefront for local artisans, and one part dynamic community space. Of the 72 full-time, part-time employees and interns who worked at Urban Starzz, all took part in one way or another of not just receiving needed opportunities but practicing service to a wider community in the Bronx.


Urban Starzz was created and owned by founding partner April De Simone, and remained in business in the Bronx until 2010. 

In the barber shop portion of Urban Starzz aspiring barbers were able to come under the tutelage of a master barber to earn their license for free, when it would otherwise cost up to $15,000. In return, they helped to host community events and did service outside of the space: creating reverberating impact throughout the community.

In the storefront portion of Urban Starzz, local artisans who made clothes, accessories and jewelry could find a home to sell their products. This became an opportunity for them to become entrepreneurs: scaling their micro enterprise.

Urban Starzz hosted the surrounding community on a daily basis, as well as through events like the AIDS awareness event pictured above. This was a place where the social fabric of the community was woven together with intentionality. 

“Rather than just a place where people receive needs and opportunities, this was a place where they could connect with the community to pay it forward. The impact didn’t stay behind the closed doors of Urban Starzz, everyone who came through brought that mentality with them back out into the Bronx.
— April