Lee: You’re celebrating thirty years of business this month. What have been the keys to business sustainability and how have you remained relevant?
When people are happy with what you do, the results they get and how they are treated they are glad to pay you, come back and refer others to you to boot. People are increasingly looking for alternative ways to remedy their health problems at all ages from the very young to the elderly. I am constantly looking for people who have a strong desire to help others, are committed to unselfish service and are ready, willing and able to learn how and what to do to support others to promote health and wellness.
Lee: DWC started 20 years after the Detroit riot, not far from 12th and Clairmount. What drove your decision to start your business at that location?
Brown: Martin Luther King Jr. said that …”a riot is the language of the unheard”. People in Detroit and in particular in that neighborhood need attention and healing, I wanted to help bring light to a dark place. Against the better judgement of others I chose to start my business in Detroit and in an area that was economically challenged. In some ways the area also chose me, it was where I began my health journey and where I learned a great deal. I began training others in the first year and as we served the people there others started to come until we outgrew the space.
Lee: What changes have you noticed in that particular neighborhood over the last three decades?
Brown: Unfortunately, the building that housed our original location was razed years ago and the neighborhood has degraded with the loss of jobs and residents. We moved across town but still see people from that and all neighborhoods of Detroit. There are plans for a community garden at the very location where the building stood so in a way the healing continues just in a different form.
Lee: You’ve been promoting healthy eating among African Americans long before it came popular. How does DWC help AA’s address key health issues?
Brown: African Americans respond to people who look like us and understand our challenges.Statistically we have some of the highest rates of many chronic diseases. However, the ability to resolve these problems will not come from hospitals and Doctors they will come from our homes and loved ones as they did in the past. The key to changing our diets and lifestyles is in our relationships, our family, loved ones, church and extended family.
Lee: You just had your 30th anniversary celebration. Please tell us about.
Brown: We were glad to have speakers such as author, and internationally renowned lecturer Dr. Cass Ingram D.O. come to Detroit for the first time to teach us the secrets to reversing all kinds of infections and inflammation. A panel of hair experts shared how to identify health problems through the hair and it’s relationship to health, how to become Vegan or the best ways to adopt a health building, disease resistant plant based lifestyle and new trends and opportunities to make a living in wholistic health. People experienced yoga and movement, free health classes and took advantage of great information and specials.
Lee: What are your future plans for DWC?
Brown: After 30 plus years of doing this work, I am looking for those who will succeed me. I believe there are younger people who are as excited and eager to learn and serve as i was many years ago. My mentors Dick Gregory and others have passed away and it would be tragic for this work not to continue. I may sell but I would choose to leave a legacy that lasts for generations to come. My goal is to preserve, protect, promote, perpetuate our ancient and healing wisdom so that we never forget to heal people and the planet because they are reflections and dependent on each other.