Youngstown barbershop owner putting down the scissors to start clothing line

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s what’s becoming known as “The Great Resignation” — People are quitting their jobs and taking to a different career path. Jerome Franklin is one of them, and today we found out why he’s making the switch from a downtown Youngstown barber to a clothing line owner.

Franklin has been a barber for 20 years, owning Starting Lineup salon for 15.

“I went up to Akron Barber College and graduated in 2001… This is the only job that I’ve had for 20 years,” he said.

But come the end of January, he’s setting down the scissors.

“I’ll miss the clients that I’ve been cutting over the years but sometimes you’ve gotta turn that page and go to the next chapter,” Franklin said.

That next chapter includes closing Starting Lineup and going full-time with his clothing line, It’s A Wrap.

“I have seven different products licensed through the NCAA. I have like 25 universities that I’m licensed with,” Franklin said.

He has vests, scarves, jogging suits 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 is something he’s been working on for a few years, but the pandemic was what made him want to dive in full-time.

“It’s scary, it’s gonna be tough, there’s gonna be obstacles but I’m ready for it,” Franklin said.

Once Starting Lineup closes, a new shop called The Vault will open. It will be owned by Juanita Pete, a current stylist at Starting Lineup.

“I knew that Jerome was transitioning into something different so I knew that this would be a perfect opportunity to step out on my own,” Pete said.

Once The Vault opens, all of the employees at Starting Lineup will work there.

“I’m gonna have a makeup artist, an aesthetician, barbers. So we’re going to be pretty much a full-service salon,” Pete said.

So as one business closes, two more will grow. While it may be a scary, challenging time for both Franklin and Pete, they say they’re prepared to take on this new venture.

“Look at your life as a book. If your life was one long chapter, it would be a boring book. A good book consists of multiple chapters. There’s 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 can be found online right now. Franklin hopes to have it in retail stores soon.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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