Shunned Former Jehovah’s Witness Builds a Small Business Empire in Manhattan

Shunned Former Jehovah’s Witness Builds a Small Business Empire in Manhattan

When Charlie McCoy arrived in New York City fifteen years ago he did not expect to embark on the journey that led him to where he is today. In 2005 McCoy was a Jehovah’s Witness whomoved to he Big Apple from Oklahoma City to work at the Watchtower, the religion’s world headquarters.

McCoy was raised in this faith by his mother who devoutly believed in its teachings, particularly the one that emphasizes how the world is “corrupt and that it needs to be destroyed and cleansed by God and then started anew.”

This belief is one that left McCoy’s mother unprepared for the realities that she would come to face. “With this viewpoint you can imagine most Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t make any long term investments,” McCoy says. “They don’t build any long term businesses, have trusts or start ups, or vote. In the case of my mother, she doesn’t have much to live on because she thought the world would have ended by 2020.”

Eventually McCoy’s journey with his faith came to an end, and he left the denomination five years ago. As is customary within the community, McCoy was shunned by all his associates who were still Jehovah’s Witnesses and was left on his own. Luckily for McCoy he was able to fall back on his resources such as his skillset as a barber, his connections and his charisma. All three led him on the path of becoming a successful entrepreneur.


In the past four years McCoy has opened two brick and mortar businesses in Manhattan, and has started his venture into the e-commerce space with his latest brand, Duke & Hyde, that he acquired from overseas. Aside from his barbershop and salon Artisan Barber and Orchard & Ludlow, McCoy has been working on his new business venture, The Grooming Alchemist which serves as a space to provide lifestyle advice to former Jehovah’s Witnesses as himself and aspiring entrepreneurs.

On the platform visitors will be able to join two different memberships; one curated for ex members of his former denomination or the general membership that anyone interested in entrepreneurship can invest in. The Grooming Alchemist will feature specific, exclusive educational content in different media forms for the two memberships. Members will get the opportunity to see how McCoy operates his business, the books that have aided him in his success as well as access to networking opportunities. Tips on starting a product line, or proper hiring etiquette are among the topics that McCoy will discuss. The Grooming Alchemist is set to launch in 2021 and you can trust that this former Jehovah’s Witness turned CEO will give you the keys to success.

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