Youngstown barber shop owner puts down scissors to launch clothing line
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s called “the big resignation” – People quit their jobs and take a different career path. Jerome Franklin is one of them, and today we found out why he went from being a barber in downtown Youngstown to a clothing line owner.
Franklin has been a barber for 20 years and has owned the Starting Lineup salon for 15 years.
“I went to Akron Barber College and graduated in 2001… It’s the only job I’ve had in 20 years,” he said.
But at the end of January, he puts down the scissors.
“I’m going to miss the clients I’ve removed over the years, but sometimes you have to turn that page and move on to the next chapter,” Franklin said.
This next chapter includes the closing of Starting Lineup and the full-time use of its clothing line, It’s A Wrap.
“I have seven different products licensed from the NCAA. I have like 25 universities that I’m licensed with, ”Franklin said.
He has vests, scarves, tracksuits, and raincoats that he makes for local high schools and universities in and out of Ohio.
“Of course, YSU. I have Akron, Toledo, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, ”he said.
The line has been something he’s been working on for a few years, but the pandemic is what made him want to dive full-time.
“It’s scary, it’s going to be tough, there will be obstacles but I’m ready for it,” Franklin said.
Once the starting lineup closes, a new store called The Vault will open. It will be owned by Juanita Pete, a current stylist at Starting Lineup.
“I knew Jerome was making the transition to something different so I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to go out on his own,” said Pete.
Once The Vault opens, all start line employees will work there.
“I’m going to have a makeup artist, a beautician, barbers. So we’re going to be pretty much a full-service salon, ”Pete said.
So when one business closes, two more will grow. While it can be a scary and difficult time for Franklin and Pete, they say they are ready to take on this new endeavor.
“Think of your life as a book. If your life was one long chapter, it would be a boring book. A good book consists of several chapters. There is nothing wrong with changing careers and doing something different. Franklin said.
The plan is for The Vault to open the first week of February.
It’s A Wrap is available online now. Franklin hopes to have it in retail stores soon.