Gentrification in New York has affected a lot of residents and business owners like Linwood Dillard III. After losing his barbershop in Harlem, Dillard turned a Ford E-350 into Harlem’s first mobile barbershop.
The self-proclaimed “Da Barber Godd” trims beards, does lineups and offers other barber services right from his bus on Lenox Ave. Championed by Harlem greats like Dapper Dan, Dillard’s clientele includes Love & Hip Hop New York’s Jaquae, Iman Shumpert, and more.
Dillard, 36, was a partner at Designs And Linen storefront barbershop on Malcolm X Blvd between 2012-2017 until rent jumped 143%, almost tripling his normal payments. His rent went from $3,500/month to $8,500/month. After the shop closed, he went through periods of homelessness but his entrepreneurial spirit was more powerful than his circumstances.
He saved up and bought a used Access-A-Ride bus, installing cost-effective solar panels, wooden floors, and other features that would appeal to customers. The mobile truck allows him to cut down on cost and regular monthly expenses.
Dillard is taking mobile barbershops to the next level by providing other barbers with jobs. He also gives back to the community with free haircuts for the homeless, backpack giveaways, and speaking events. You can donate and help Dillard expand with a second bus here.
Catch his mobile truck at 350 Lenox Ave. in Harlem.