MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Power Stretch Studio space in Upper Montclair now spots a "Make America Love Again" mural following a series of politically theme graffiti attacks.
Owner of Power Stretch Studios, Hakika Dubose, known to her friends as "Kika" explained that this is the fourth such time that someone has defaced the front of the building with graffiti. Police reports have been filed regarding the situations.
On Nov 13, Montclair resident Gina Shaw encouraged a group of children to paint an inspiring mural over the negative comments. , Dubose's mother painted "Love Has Power" over a previous comment. In the most recent incident a cartoon image of President-elect Donald Trump was drawn with the phrase "America Has Spoken. Thank You." More than 30 people came out to paint and lend moral support the mural was being completed today.
While discussing these incidents, "I was shocked at how the community has been able to lift me up and fight for me when I couldn't do it myself." said DuBose "The little kids who drew it really lifted me up." she added.
The Montclair community came out to support DuBose earlier this year when a fire broke out in an adjacent building causing smoke and water damage to her studio. Since the fire, the stretching studio has been operating out of St. James Episcopal Church at the corner of Valley Road and Bellevue Ave, but has used the boarded windows as a place for announcements about the studio's temporary location. Clients of the studio include PBS's Steve Adubato.
DuBose is a 2002 graduate of Bloomfield High, while discussion the incident she gave a "Go Bengals!" shout out. "I am really looking forward to move on and doing more things," she said, the fire and the graffiti are set backs "that give me time to really plan and get things in order."
Construction and repairs will continue at the flagship Montclair location. Power Stretch Studios also has locations in Westfield NJ, Manhattan, and a recently franchised location in Boca Raton, FL.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the construction expenses following the fire.
Powerstretch Studios flagship location is at 255 Bellevue Ave, across the street from Java Love Coffee Roasting.