Jeff Joseph and Simone Santiel
Making Crenshaw Magnificent Again
By Kenneth Miller
Sentinel Managing Editor
College sweethearts Simone Santiel and Jeff Joseph return home to make â€˜The Hoodâ€™ good
During their high school years in the 1980s Simone Santiel and Jeff Joseph were on the opposite team, but now as a couple the two soul mates have taken to the task of transforming businesses along the Crenshaw Strip.
Joseph was an All City, All State and All American quarterback for the Manual Arts Toilers from 1980-â€™84, but during the same time Santiel was cheering for the Dorsey Dons, a Southern league rival.
However, after securing their relationship that continued while both were attending Arizona State University, Joseph as a star defensive back on the football team and Santiel as a student they knew the best was yet to come.
What they didnâ€™t know was that it would be as business partners in the community they are so familiar with.
The dynamic business duo was afforded the opportunity of a lifetime when Santielâ€™s father Kijana Mahdi handed over a group of storefronts located 4269 Crenshaw Blvd., south of King Blvd. and north of Vernon Ave.
Mahdi owned the property for 42 years and with businesses doors closed had become a frequent hangout for addicts and gang members.
Joseph pleaded with his father-in-law to allow for he and Santiel to transform the properties into something that the African American community and Mahdi would be proud of.
Joseph left his job at Job Corp., Santiel, who graduated from Long Beach State and had obtained two Masters degrees in Administration and Counseling from National University to her credit then rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
Now, two years later, the addicts and gang members have all but vanished, the 60-year old Magnificent Brothers barber salon has been refurbished, a Magnificent Sisters beauty salon had been opened two doors down, sandwiched in between a Magnificent Tropical Fish that offers fresh water fish, cat and dog supplies and a dance studio another door away.
â€œOur motto is â€˜Come Back Homeâ€™ because thatâ€™s what we did and we want others to feel the same way,â€ said Joseph.
Mahdi was so proud of what they had accomplished in just a short time, that he came back and began working as a barber in the men salon.
At a time when most businesses are closing their doors, this magnificent couple is not just keep their doors open, but also have all Black employees.
They are not close to being done yet. They plan on providing internships for students at neighboring schools Crenshaw and Dorsey in both the barber and beauty salon.
For aspiring musically inclined students they are offering their recording studio that is located inside the tropical fish shop.
â€œWe are proud of what he have done and it has not been easy, but we have only scratched the surface of what we envision,â€ said Santiel.
The melting economy and changing demographics have not deterred them, but instead have inspired themâ€” to what is necessary and right in their own neighborhood and with their own people.
For more information on companies under the Magnificent Brothers umbrella contact (323) 422-7026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Â