When Landon Garrett is not busy finishing up his senior year at Sarasota High School, he’s making sure his clients are looking their best at Mankind Barber Lounge in downtown Sarasota.
“I just love helping out the public,” Garrett said,
At 17, he’s already a licensed barber, the youngest one at the shop
“I didn’t think I’d be doing it at all, at any age," he said.
But he’s here, and that’s all thanks to his mentor Dennis Ford, or "Hootie," as they call him.
“I wanna be just like Hootie," Garrett added. "That’s all, that’s the only person I look up to in the industry right now, it’s just Hootie.”
Hootie became the first black business owner in downtown Sarasota when he opened his business during the pandemic.
“I’m trying to show him a better way and actually show him a better way he can be better than me," Hootie said.
He’s been cutting Garrett's hair since Garrett was nine — Garrett is now repaying that favor
“I don’t see color, I just see Landon,” Hootie said.
Garrett’s talent alone is what made Hootie bring him to the team
“Going to school just makes me work a little bit harder when I get to the shop since I lose a few hours of cutting hair so I always just use it as motivation,” Garrett said.
Motivation to make this job a lifelong career.
“My goal is to become one of the best barbers in the world,” Garrett said. Nothing is stopping him from achieving that dream.
Garrett said his goal was to once become a firefighter, but with Ford's guidance and support, he's pursuing this new venture.
Written By Katya Guillaume