Opened his first barbershop in Lakeland 15 years ago | Extensively involved in supporting local youth athletics | Celebrating opening of Barber Skate Shop downtown in October
J airus loves when potential is realized, whether it’s the kids and teens he has mentored over the years or the barber shops he has opened and grown.
His latest and most innovative venture to date is the Barber Skate Shop at 717 N. Kentucky Ave., scheduled to open in October. It marries his ability to help people feel better about themselves with his lifelong love of skateboarding.
Thirty-four years ago, as a 12-year-old growing up in Plant City, he started honing his skills cutting hair for local kids out of a neighbor’s shed; he says he could craft a fade his classmates kept coming back for.
Today, he runs Second to None Barbershop on North Florida Avenue, owns a bus he takes to skate tournaments around the country as a literal vehicle for cutting hair, and he’s amped for people to walk into Barber Skate Shop to get a cut while experiencing custom benches built with skateboards, urban metallic wall features and a wide variety of skateboards, roller skates and skating apparel to purchase.
His foray into the local skate scene started years ago when he and his sons by chance ended up at the opening of Lakeland Skatepark at Fletcher Park across from Lakeland High School. For years, Jairus had sponsored and helped youth sports teams, and with the opening of the park he saw a chance to introduce his sons to his favorite sport and help the community in the process.
He hosted the first official competition at that park, and that caught the eye of professional skater Ryan Clements, who instantly connected with Jairus and invited him to go on tour and cut hair at professional and amateur skating events.
“I started doing that and realized that I had a niche, and I felt like I could grow the business and start selling decks at the shop,” he says.
Jairus has used his platform to help raise money to fight cancer, he has been part of programs where young men learn etiquette and social skills and he pays homage on the walls of his new shop to local athlete’s he’s walked alongside who went on to play Division I sports.
“We’ve got to pour into the young people because they’re going to do it for the
He said he loves Lakeland because it’s “like a miniature Tampa” and he’s excited to be part of its ongoing growth. “Lakeland people are friendly and welcoming…and yeah, they are cultivating.”
More “What is a Lakelander?”