We’ve all heard it– ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Lakeland barber, Paul “Skully” Scott, is living by it. “I’d always been cutting my friends hair,” said Scott. So, when it came time to choose a career, “I was always told ‘do what you love’ and I loved cutting hair so it seemed like the right choice to make.”
He got his credentials from Paul Mitchell The School–Orlando, after which he tried out a few different barber shops and salons. Tired of waiting around for clients to come in to see him, Scott decided to bring the barber shop to his clients. “I got in my truck and I started around to people’s houses and business with a toolbox and doing people’s hair out of their kitchens and what not.”
One day, Scott was talking to his dad about his aspiration to have a business of his own. Scott’s dad had an idea. He showed Paul the rise in mobile barber shops in California. These mobile shops were done in a food truck sort of fashion, out of converted buses. “That seemed like an awesome step up from what I was already doing,” he said.
In 2016, Scott acted on that conversation and bought a Winnebago to convert into a shop of his own. To transform it into a barber shop on wheels, Scott had to rip out the kitchen, seating area, bedroom, and shower, “I had to completely gut the RV down to the bare minimum and then rebuild it all and put in the bench and counters and everything.” He officially opened his business in 2017, dubbing it Skully’s Barber Salon. The name comes from a nickname he’s had for years, though he can’t recall its origins.
He now drives his iconic green bus around Lakeland making house calls and setting up at different events and locations from W Pipkin Rd. to Florida Polytech, keeping the gentlemen of Lakeland looking fresh. He’s even been to weddings and given all the groomsmen a fresh cut and shave for the big day. You can find his location schedule for the week on his website, www.skullysbarbersalon.com.
Skully, who has the only mobile barber shop in Lakeland, spoke to the advantage of such a business, “I’m able to service a wider area of people. Also, in the hair industry, there are certain times of the year that are really slow and you lose a lot of business because people aren’t getting haircuts as much. Whenever it gets slow for me, I just pack up and move somewhere else.”
Scott has two more chairs that he would like to eventually hire for. New hires aside, Scott has high ambitions for the future of his mobile barber shop, “I want to either franchise out the vehicles so other people could have them under my name or open up a brick and mortar shop, have people in there and also still drive this around.”
Though trained in both men and women’s hair, Scott focuses on men’s. What’s the most popular men’s cut in Lakeland at the moment? An undercut, according to the barber. He keeps up with emerging trends as well. When asked what’s the next ‘new do’ for the area, Scott responded, “The nineties hairstyles are coming back a lot, like the surfer haircut where it’s parted down the middle and kind of long–that’s coming back. A lot of people are growing their hair out because they’re tired of having the shaved sides.” He joked, “I call it the Jonathan Taylor Thomas.”
Our conversation concluded with what Scott loves the most about his job. Scott reflected, “I love being able to meet new people every day and just work with my hands and be very artistic. I’ve always been very into art and everything like that so to be able to create with my hands is awesome.”
Skully’s Barber Salon
Facebook and Instagram @skullysbarbersalon
Phone: (863) 224-3507