Business of the Month: The Other Suns, the warmth of love

Hazel Mack, owner of Other Suns Event Center in Winston-Salem.

Business of the Month: The Other Suns, the warmth of love
September 12
01:30 2019

By Busta Brown

Powerful, warm and beautiful are the thoughts that came to mind after reading the words of author Richard Wright, while he was chronicling the “Great Migration of African Americans, from the South to the North.” In his book, “Black Boy,” Wright said that he left the South in search for more fertile grounds, where he could grow and experience the warmth of other suns, because there was no warmth in the South. The book was written in 1945 and still today, a lot of African Americans are searching for that warmth.

Search no more! Other Suns is right here in Winston-Salem. Owner, retired attorney and former Black Panther Party member Hazel Mack said the name of her business was inspired by Wright’s quote, “I wanted a place where people can experience the warmth. A place where the community can come feel serenity, warmth, and feel welcomed. Those are the things I want to provide,” said Mack.

Hazel describes Other Suns as a multi-small business cozy cocoon that houses a beauty salon, barbershop, boutique, coffee shop and indoor/outdoor rental space. She gave me a tour and I felt the warmth of love and serenity in each venue.

The first venue Mrs. Mack presented contained the two hair salons. “One of our salons is where Delisa Stroman does all-natural hair, and the other is where Dana Benton does all hairstyles she’s been doing for 20 years, and very well known in the community. Both stylists are very warm and welcoming.”

Then she took me to the boutique. “This boutique is unique. It’s comprised of different vendors’ items. These are sistas that work full-time jobs and don’t have the time or a place to display their products; and here they can.” The boutique has paintings and sculpture art, clothes, jewelry, shoes, flower arrangements, fragrances, and more. As I looked around the boutique, I got that warm feeling. I was thinking about how Hazel is providing another beautiful way that black women entrepreneurs can work collectively together. The great news is, each vendor is doing very well.

My favorite venue is The Gallery. The retired attorney calls it a sitting room, “We have local history on the walls. These are local black historians that have made or still making a difference in the city. Some that have passed and are still with us.” Winston-Salem has some very impressive history, and it makes for some great conversation while sitting inside the Gallery sipping on coffee and eating pastries. For the first time, I learned about Local 22. “It’s a union mostly ran by black women, that was organized in the 40s to fight for better conditions in Winston-Salem.” The Gallery also has lots of interesting books as well. Other Suns coffee shop is a great place to grab some breakfast or lunch, and then head into The Gallery and relax your mind and body. The vibe is just right for a cozy, warm and peaceful way to shut out all of the negativity in the world. 

“As black people, we go through our day under so much siege all the time. Whether it’s at work or just walking the streets. So I wanted to create a place where you can come to let go of all of that,” said Mack.

Last but not least is a deck. It has tables and chairs and is surrounded with beautiful landscaping. It also has a stage for live music, plays, poetry readings, weddings, etc. The best part is you can rent the deck area. The vibe and setting were so nice, warm and welcoming. I wanted to jump onto the stage and live out my biggest fantasy. I’ve always wanted to be the lead singer in a band and the stage gave me flashbacks.

Hazel Mack said it best: “Other Suns is an evolving community place to be.”

Other Suns is open Tuesday – Saturday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The coffee shop is open Thursday – Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s located on 414 N. Laura Wall Blvd., Winston- Salem. Stop in or call 336-655-5767 for more information.

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