In 1999, a Frayser man began his career as a barber by traveling to local nursing homes and providing services to those who needed them.
Today, he owns his own barber shop, leases a neighboring bay to a beauty salon and is preparing to open his own barber school in Frayser next month.
Jamal Arnold, graduate of Trezevant High School and Jet Barber College, has owned a barbershop in Frayser since 2003. But, he opened On the Spot Cuts & Styles at its current location across the street from Nike’s North American Logistics Campus on Raleigh Road in 2012.
“I decided to start my business where I came from,” Arnold said.
Nine barbers, including Arnold, currently work at On the Spot. Last year, Arnold was approved for a $25,000 Inner City Economic Development program (ICED) loan for interior renovations and facade improvements as well as parking lot resurfacing through the Economic Develoment Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis & Shelby County.
But, Arnold has also wanted to do a barber school for a long time. So, in mid-August, he plans to open Students 2 Masters in a 2,400-square-foot commercial space on Frayser Boulevard, leased from Bland Property Management.
At Students 2 Masters, at least 15 students will get trained to cut and color hair, do permanent waves and paint nails, in preparation to go through the licensing and certification process. The education takes 1,500 hours.
Arnold said he already has interest in the school from people in Frayser but plans to attract students from all over.
“I wanted to expand and I thought it was imperative to give what God gave me,” he said. “It was a passion to see other people grow.”
After that, Arnold hopes to open a few more barber shops — not necessarily located in Frayser — where he can employ his former students. He said he would also like to reconnect with some of the nursing homes that still need barber services.
“It’s not just a business; it’s a vision,” Arnold said.