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Man goes from sports to business

Photo by Orionna BrumfieldBasketball coach-turned-businessman Robert Hines hangs up merchandise in SBS Trends, a clothing store he and his family own in Brookhaven.

Photo by Orionna BrumfieldBasketball coach-turned-businessman Ronald Hines hangs up merchandise in SBS Trends, a clothing store he and his family own in Brookhaven.

Being a business owner goes beyond just ownership for Ronald Hines.

Hines has opened five businesses to date, three of which are in his hometown of Brookhaven, in an effort to change his community for the better.

Hines, with his wife Katrina and son LaRon, have been working to create a better Brookhaven since moving back to the Home Seekers Paradise in 2011.

And it all started with a plan.

Hines majored in business administration in college. He wanted to put his dreams in action after he finished his passion for sports. While still a basketball coach at Brookhaven High School, he and his wife bought Kids R Us Learning Center, 523 Schwem Ave., in Brookhaven, from Donna Ebey in May 2011. “Our kids learn a lot and our scores are pretty high. We went from 21 kids to 71 kids,” Hines said.

But owning one business was not enough.

“We started researching different things we could do, and my wife loved shopping,” he said. During their research, they Ron Craddock, former owner of the thrift store that is now Sassy But Sweet Boutique, the second business the Hines started in Brookhaven. They have also opened two more Sassy But Sweet Boutique locations in McComb.

SBS Trends is the newest business in the Hindses’ empire. They opened the store in September across the street from Brookhaven High School on East Monticello Street.

The Hindses knew they were taking a chance at turning a house into a clothing store. “We had a plan A and B. If the store did not take place, we [knew we] could turn it into an apartment or an adult daycare which would be a spin off from our children’s daycare,” he said.

They purchased the house as an investment for the future. “We didn’t see any stores around here like ours… and I feel that this one will be one of the best ones yet because we’re in our community,” he said.

Hines plans to start a summer work program inside his store to help high school students. “We’re right by the high school and I want to help high school kids and [their parents] to help strengthen their families. I think the biggest problem in our community today is the [lack of support in] families,” he said.

He wants to ensure that kids grow up with someone to look up to other than characters and celebrities they see on TV, and he believes solving family problems will help with that.

“I’m not perfect. I have my ups and downs. But I make sure my son LaRon knows how things should work,” he said. “My vision is to make sure my son has something to live for… When I leave here, I want to leave something behind for him.”

Hines employs 13 workers who are all from Brookhaven. He and his wife plan to create businesses to help the community and the surrounding areas. “We’re here for the people and we’re always trying to find avenues to help,” he said.