He said he saw a need for a youthful barber shop in Hazard that catered to younger clientele.
“I kind of feel like the younger crowd don’t have a place to go,” Vinson said. “Barber shops around here – I think they cater more to older males.”
Vinson decided to pursue a career in cutting hair about six years ago. He spent three years at professional barber training in London, Ky., then apprenticed at Universal Kutz in Lexington.
With the help of Hazard Community and Technical College, the Southeast Kentucky Small Business Development Center, MACED and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Vinson soon opened his own shop.
In the three months since the doors opened, Vinson said he’s been building his clientele and fighting the unusual winter to bring people to his barbershop.
“It takes a little while in this business whenever you start to [build clientele],” he said. “We’re looking forward to summertime and springtime.”
NLINE Barbershop is a large space, with one barber chair occupied by Vinson and the other by his apprentice, Mike. There’s a third chair empty, but Vinson hopes to fill it soon.
There are sports posters, posters from the movie “Barbershop” and clippings from the sports section of local newspapers hanging on the walls, with other sports memorabilia displayed throughout the barbershop. A TV hangs on the wall in one corner where the waiting area is located. Vinson said he tried to make the space feel inviting to make it feel like home.
“We try to get the home feeling a little bit to make [the customers] feel comfortable,” Vinson said.
Even though he has his own barbershop now and business is starting to build, he said he wished he’d started pursuing a career as a barber earlier in his life.
“I think the earlier you start, the better it is,” Vinson said. “You’re not really born with anything, it’s more what you learn and how hard you work with it. The harder you work the better you get.”
Vinson and his apprentice offer a range of services at NLINE, including haircuts, fades, head and neck shaves, hot shaves and beard and facial design. They also offer Father/Son Day cuts on Saturday.
Even though the goal is to provide a barbershop geared toward young people, Vinson said NLINE isn’t exclusionary; they cater to everyone.
“We just want to let people know that we cater to everybody,” Vinson said. “We don’t want to put ourselves in a box.”
For more information about NLINE, or to schedule an appointment, Vinson said anyone is welcome to call him and Mike at 233-2180 or 438-2988. He also said walk-ins are welcome.