A Knack for HairCarlos Mahone's career as a barber started in an unlikely location-his college dorm room. After cutting a few friends' hair, word of his knack for it spread and he soon had a few students a week taking advantage of his services. While still in college, he apprenticed under a local barber who relayed both the history and the skills of the trade.
A Transition PointAfter college, Carlos set out to build a career in high tech and he worked as a technology support manager for years. However, in 2001, he was laid off and once again began cutting hair-this time out of his home. His clientele began to grow and, slowly, he began to see his future in barbering versus technology. Carlos quickly found a new space for his budding business in the Buckhead neighborhood where he lived. He rented out a small space on a busy road and renovated the interior to make it client ready.
Accion Steps InOnce the business, 71 Barbershop, was launched, Carlos knew he needed to establish commercial credit. He remembers thinking, "Ok, I can't keep doing this-the business needs to establish some credit on its own." He was referred to Accion to build business credit, applied online and was approved for $7,000 small business loan. The money was used to fix up the space to make it look more professional. He later applied for another business loan for $14,000 and used the money to upgrade the barber chairs and open a second location. Carlos mentions that the Accion loans made 71 Barbershop a credible business with real business relationships.
A Cut above the RestAt full throttle now, Carlos has a very diverse staff with a clientele who always keep coming back for more. 71 Barbershop offers traditional services like hot razor shaves and scalp massages in addition to convenient, modern services like making appointments online and the option to pay by credit card.
What's next for 71 Barbershop? "I hope to open up 71 Barbering Academy," says Carlos. He would like to open up a school to train people and offer them a useful skill set. This school could help the community in a very practical way, allowing people to find jobs and earn money. With the help from Accion, Carlos is able to serve his community in more ways than one.
To follow Carlos' lead to serve your community, apply for a small business loan from Accion East and Online.
Location / Ubicación: Georgia
Language / Idioma: English
Type of Business/Tipo de Negocio: Salon/Spa