KENOSHA, Wis. - The lakefront and a museum, the scenic views you’ll get at a Kenosha barbershop. But unlike the hair that comes in, the shop is not rooted anywhere.
"I’ve always thought it’d be cool to make a mobile barbershop," said Mitchell Thomas.
Thomas has been a barber in the Kenosha-Racine area for seven years. When the pandemic hit, it was anything but a dead-end for business.
"It was the perfect time to buy a party bus," said Thomas.
Thomas bought a 13-seat party bus and transformed it into what is now known as the Blacktop Barbershop. The luxury cruiser offers a private, safe, and convenient setting in parking spots around southeast Wisconsin.
"I think it’s a lot more stress-free that I built this bus and I’m doing a mobile shop -- that it’s just you and the person, so the air’s not as thick," said Thomas."
While the decision to make a mobile barbershop was clear cut, Thomas was not sure who would roll with him.
"It’s kind of nerve-wracking because you don’t know if people are going to find you," said Thomas.
But business did not fade. In fact, it flourished. His solo barber chair, sitting all walks of life, as Thomas stays busy with both new and old clients.
"You see it, you’re like wow, he is trying his best just to make everybody else comfortable," said Elvis Medina, a long-time client.
The one-on-one appointments are personal interactions many were forced to cut off due to COVID-19.
"It goes from sports to politics to anything and it just feels great," Medina said.
While the mobile barbershop has only been in operation for a few months, Thomas hit the ground running.
"Just having support throughout your journey – it keeps you humble and grateful," Thomas said.
As his business rolls on, not even a bad hair day can get in the way. In fact, Thomas welcomes it.
"Right now I’m definitely just content, I’m happy doing me," said Thomas.
You can find the barbershop at local businesses, churches, and community centers. You can also order a mobile visit and it’ll come to you. Check for weekly updates.