Kickass Entrepreneur: Dover Honing Co.
His name is Alyasha Owerka-Moore, and he is more than just a business owner. He is a clothing designer, a brand ambassador for PF Flyers and a true pioneer in street style apparel. Owerka-Moore has lived in East Village for more than 15 years where he became friends with his neighbor Arsalun Tafazoli who is a partner in Consortium Holdings, which owns the likes of Noble Experiment and Polite Provisions, among others. For years, the two talked about how downtown San Diego was missing a barbershop, but not any barbershop. It was missing a social space where people could make friends, share ideas, relax and have fun, or even hash out business deals. In 2014, the two friends got their wish and a space opened up in the East Village neighborhood. They took four months to build out and create a space they felt was hip, cool and unique for their customers, and in June, Dover Honing Co. opened its doors as a community barbershop.
Q: What makes Dover Honing different from most barbershops?
A: I’d hope not much, sans the brilliant décor - I wish I could take credit. It’s a barbershop. It does what a barbershop is supposed to do. We work hard at providing a great product and service just like any other shop. It’s a meeting place and place to relax and feel good about yourself.
Q: What would the album to your life be?
A: A surprisingly common question. There are several albums that rotate in my answer. DEVO “Are We Not Men”, Dexter Gordon “One Flight Up”, James Brown “Please Please Please”, The Clash “London Calling”, and Reakwon “Only Built For Cuban Links”.
Q: As a designer, what design are you most proud of?
A: Every design that comes to fruition the way I envisioned, illustrated and manufactured it.
Q: What are the misconceptions people have about being a brand ambassador?
A: The main misconception is that you just get product for free or paid to wear things. Ultimately, it depends on the brand/brands you are working with. Different companies/brands expect different things from their ambassadors.
Q: CEO or company you admire the most?
A: Ralph Lauren and his Ralph Lauren company. The undisputed king of brand building built the world’s strongest lifestyle brand on his own terms and proved that you don’t ever need to cater to market trend. You build the right product and it will be timeless.
Q: Motto you try to live by everyday?
A: There is a Buckminster Fuller quote that has burned itself into my brain since I read it as a kid: “Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”
Q: Celebrity style that you really admire and why?
A: Cary Grant. From an era where men actually had style and it was OK. He dressed himself and did so with incredible style whether it was jeans and a T-shirt, or Gabardine slacks and a sweater. A man’s man.
Q: Advice you want to give to young entrepreneurs and designers?
A: Read “The Bear That Wasn’t” by Frank Tashlin.