Fit for Kings: Barber and Grooming Lounge Celebrates Girard Opening
GIRARD, Ohio — Positioned in the back of a clean, regal room here is a dark, worn barber chair flanked by two brighter, aged chairs.
“I’ll never get rid of those,” said Kelan Bilal, owner of Excalibur Barber Grooming Lounge.
The chairs tell a bit of history, bringing a vintage feel of a previous barber shop. Bilal is paying homage to the space’s former owner, he said, at a ribbon cutting Monday at 12 N. State St.
The Girard shop is Bilal’s second location. The first is at the Southern Park Mall in Boardman. This location, however, is not only a barber shop, but also a place to promote growth for its employees.
Within the building is a smaller, more intimate room. Offering massages, facials, waxing and post care for plastic surgery procedures, J. Jenee Spa and Wellness owned by Jasmine Hampton, has made the move to Girard from the Boardman location.
Her path to owning her own business was part of her healing process with depression and anxiety. “As a mom, a wife, sometimes you have to learn to reel it in and take care of yourself,” Hampton said.
Hampton wants to give back to the community and provide a place for people to go to for a few minutes of relaxation. When she heard Bilal was eyeing the Girard space, she told him she wanted the adjacent room for her business.
Bilal encouraged Hampton to take the space and make it her own. “I wanted her to be able to grow,” Bilal said.
Making the moves
To see a business owner harbor growth is “refreshing,” said Mark Kholos, account executive with the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.
“It’s great to see Kelan has made an investment by adding a second location, in another community, in another county. To see that here, we hope this is contagious and inspires other businesses to look at other locations,” Kholos said.
There are 12 employees between both lounges: eight in Boardman and four at Girard. A second location wasn’t a priority until recently, when the opportunity became available, Bilal said.
Once the Boardman lounge was up and running, Bilal joined a partnership to bring Beyond Expectations Barber College to Youngstown, providing people interested in the barber and grooming industry a chance to earn licensure.
It was after the school was secured locally that the opportunity to purchase a barber shop presented itself, Bilal said.
The Boardman shop is rented, while the Girard location was purchased, he said.
Renovations costs at the new property are in the neighborhood of $50,000, Bilal said.
When it comes to his employees, or the Excalibur team as Bilal says, he believes in investing, which Hampton reiterated. “He turns us into the business owners we are meant to be,” Hampton said.
What’s in a name
“Excalibur is what I liken to our razor,” Bilal said. The most powerful sword in the world, it’s fit for a king, which is how clients are viewed: as royalty.
“This is our castle,” he said, pointing to dark brick walls and the elegant gold and black logo.
Clients are welcome to enjoy featured local artwork decorating the walls of Excalibur.
For his next castle, King Bilal has his sights set on a few places, including Columbiana.
Excalibur in Boardman is open 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and the Girard location from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more information on both Excalibur Barber Grooming Lounge locations, visit Excaliburbarber.com.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.