WAXHAW, NC – The Town of Waxhaw is spotlighting black-owned businesses making a difference in the community in celebration and honor of Black History Month. Dwayne and Kimberly Johnson, two business owners in the downtown Waxhaw area, were recently interviewed for this spotlight.
Dwayne, originally from Brooklyn, New York, moved to the North Carolina area in 1997. His wife Kimberly is originally from North Carolina, ending up in Charlotte in 2000. Dwayne and Kimberly met while Kimberly was attending undergraduate school at Johnson C. Smith University. The couple has known each other for 23 years, been married for 18 years and has two children.
Living in the Waxhaw area since 2017, the couple currently owns the Burney’s Sweets & More location downtown. The couple says they enjoy living in the Waxhaw community because it is a quaint, family-oriented town with good schools. Dwayne and Kimberly said they are “grateful to be in Waxhaw and remain open. We have a wonderful staff whom we appreciate dearly, and we appreciate the support we receive from our customers.”
While Kimberly always knew she wanted to pursue the business industry, Dwayne found the drive to start running his own business through adversity. After working for a sanitation company for almost twenty years, his employer threatened to terminate him when he had car troubles one morning that wouldn’t allow him to travel to his place of work. With this threat of job loss, the couple worked together to find a solution. They woke their two children, who were only six months old then, and Kimberly used her vehicle to drive Dwayne to work at 1 a.m. Dwayne’s motivation has always been his family; this experience ultimately drove him toward entrepreneurship.
When asked who his biggest inspiration is, Dwayne said his father is. His father has owned a furniture business since 1963 that is still in operation today and is now run by Dwayne’s brothers. This business is one of only three in New York that finishes furniture by hand, which is all still done by his father. His father was an excellent example of how to have a strong work ethic which helped Dwayne develop his work ethic as well.
Kimberly enjoys the freedom of owning businesses because it allows her to spend as much time with her children as possible. As their children are growing quickly, entrepreneurship has enabled them to adjust their schedules to have time for work and for their children.
When asked about Black History Month, Dwayne and Kimberly said, “It’s special to celebrate the people who came before us that gave us the opportunity to be where we are now. Being a family of color, it was harder to open and sustain a business and have support.” Dwayne and Kimberly value the Black History Month spotlight because they believe learning about other people in the Waxhaw Community is important.
The couple was asked if they had advice for the younger generations and what that might be. The Johnsons said, “When one door closes, another door is going to open. Just keep pounding on the door! Never give up because if you give up, you will always wonder where you could’ve been if you had kept going.”
If you ever see Dwayne and Kimberly out around town or are passing by Burney’s Sweets and More, make sure to say hello! Visit Burney’s Sweets at 116 E South St. or their website at https://www.burneyssweetsandmore.com/waxhaw