CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Twin entrepreneurs that opened a barber shop in east Charlotte 22 years ago don’t undercut the importance of their origins.
In May 1997, Damian and Jermaine Johnson opened No Grease!, leasing a 2,748-square-foot building at 3731 N. Sharon Amity Road. Business at that original shop grew so quickly that the building eventually couldn’t keep up with the flow of customers, forcing them to relocate elsewhere, said Damian Johnson.
“This parking lot was so full that nobody could get in here,” he said. “It stayed like that consistently for years. That’s when we knew that we had something and we had to expand on that.”
The No Grease! brand is heavy on style and has a level of professionalism the bowtie-clad Johnson brothers were looking to bring back to barbering, an attitude Damian Johnson said he believes resonates with clients.
“Historically, barbering has always been that place where people feel welcome, they put their guards down and they come in to look good,” he continued. “I think a combination of all those things, (and) that welcoming environment, keeps the people coming through the door.”
Today, No Grease! has four corporate-owned shops and two — soon to be three — franchise locations, in addition to a barber school on Wilkinson Boulevard. The twins began a real estate search late last year to open another school locally, with an intentional goal of coming back to east Charlotte, near the barbershop’s roots.
It was, in fact, a longtime dream of the Johnson brothers to return to that first shop, as owners instead of tenants.
Read the full story about how they made it a reality here.
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