LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio — Army veteran and father of four, Mike Palmer, always knew he wanted to become a barber. 

“Well, I started off, I was a truck driver and I had a barber's license for a few years and kept it, kept it active,” he said. 

What You Need To Know

  • Lorain County native Mike Palmer always wanted to become a barber
  • The Barber in Black opened a little more than one year ago
  • Palmer has a plan to combat current inflation challenges; he's offering customers affordable prices by thinking ahead

It was not until Palmer's children grew up that he decided to embark on this journey. 

“A couple of years ago, I started working out of the local salons, drive a truck at night, delivering from Ford, Avon Lake to Buffalo,” he said. “I worked three days a week out of the salon up front and built some clientele until I had enough to open up a barbershop shop.” 

While his shop, the Barber in Black, opened a little more than one year ago, Palmer said he's alreading seeing the effects of inflation. 

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that inflation is accelerating at its fastest pace since 1982, with an increase to 6.8% since November 2020. 

“The future does concern me because, like I said, it's families that it's really affecting. It's not affecting anybody on Wall Street; it's not affecting the elites; it's just affecting the families,” he said. 

The Consumer Price Index shows an average price increase of 4.9% for all items excluding food and energy.

Salon and barbershop owners said this percentage has resulted in charging customers higher prices. They said this is a problem only made worst by supply chain issues. 

However, Palmer said he is prepared to handle these challenges. 

“I keep about, if you can see here about a three-month supply of everything because the supply chain is kind of tough, you know, so no matter what I do, I keep a large supply,” he said. “I keep three months supply and when I get down to like six weeks' worth, I order more. So, I'm about to put an order in this week because I'm at that point." 

He said he thinks ahead and buys the very best products. 

“I don't buy cheap products, though, you know, I buy the better products. I use all Cantu products for my shaves, for my hair care. As far as I'm concerned, they're the best products out there. You know, Cantu Pomade, Cantu shave. You know it's all good products,” he said. 

By doing this, he said he can offer affordable prices to his clientele. 

“The prices are this: seniors, vets and kids, and I call kids anybody in school 18 and under, is $12. Everybody else is $15,” he said. “You can get a shave if you're a senior for $12. But otherwise, you can get a haircut and shave combo for $25. You can buy the gift certificate for $24. You can buy haircut gift certificates for $12. And they're good for a year. So the price is not going to go up now. My prices aren't going up next year anyhow, you know.” 

Palmer said although the future is uncertain, he is proud to serve his community. 

“I do care about the community and I like being here and I and I'll tell you what, this is really a retirement job for me anyhow because I love doing this. It's not like work for me. You know, I get to talk to people, you know,” he said. 

Palmer said you can find the business on Facebook at ‘The Barber in Black’.