Linwood Dillard just created Harlem’s first mobile barber shop.
The Harlem native decided to put his shop on wheels after his storefront rent spiked 143% in just 5 years. That’s when Dillard got the idea to fix up an old bus that was being used for dog grooming and turn it into a mobile barber shop, ABC 7 NY reports.
Dillard said he got his first pair of clippers from his father when he was just 13 years old. He started cutting hair professionally in the early 2000s and eventually went to Atlanta to perfect his skills.
When he returned to New York, he opened his shop along with a friend near his childhood home on Lenox Avenue and 128th Street in Harlem. The shop did well but as gentrification increased, so did his rent, going from $3500 a month to $8500 a month, an unreasonably high price for any local barbershop.
After spotting an Access-A-Ride bus, he got the idea for his new venture. An old Ford E-350 that he paid just $2500 for, is now tricked out with party lights, solar panels and lots of faithful customers, with just $700 a month in overhead expenses, Dillard told Black Enterprise. He has over 100 positive 5-star reviews online and often provides free haircuts to the homeless and kids going back to school. For him, giving back to the community that raised him is a crucial ingredient to his success.
Dillard told ABC 7 that his shop is “the best thing he’s ever done in his life,” and that he hopes to one day, “get bigger buses and franchise.”
You can follow him on Instagram @dabarbergodd or go get a cut at the shop that sits parked at 350 Lenox Avenue in Harlem.
Congratulations Linwood! Keep inspiring us all!