“Before me there wasn’t any, after me there won’t be none!”

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“Before me there wasn’t any, after me there won’t be none!” is what Jimmy Jenkins said to me on the day the doors closed at JLuv’s Spot.

JLuv’s was THE barbershop of all barbershops. The entertainer’s barbershop. And because of the exposure we’d get just by being in JLuv’s, on West 49th Street in Midtown, I was able to take my barbering skills to a new level. When I say a new level, I’m talking in terms of stepping up my game up and trumping up my life, charging more for hair cuts, establishing a solid client base. This is around the time I expanded my client field by sub-contracting to do photo and video shoots, house and office calls, serving higher-end clients and businessmen.

Profile pic I learned everything I know through my many conversations and dealings with top Hollywood celebrities, music executives, performance artists, professional Athletes, CEOs of large corporations and start-ups alike, surgeons, physicians, and models. My client list was so diverse:

Tyson Beckford, Dewayne Johnson (aka The Rock), Ben Vereen, Glynn Thurman, Andre Deshield, Tony Aiello, Andre Harrell, Freddy Jackson, Bel Biv Devo, Pras, Kendel Gill, Eric Murdock, and Lenox Lewis (just to name a few).

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Anyone who was someone back then, if you were on TV or behind the scene, you got your hair cut at JLuv’s Spot, “The Ultimate Grooming Spot”. Where else would one possibly go? I’m so inspired by Jimmy’s slogan and business model that until this day, my future business plans for my own shop are heavily influenced by everything that JLuv’s Spot stood for.

Jimmy Jenkins, also known as Jimmy Luvs or “JLuvs”, had previously been the Vice President of Uptown Records alongside Andre’ Harrell. As a smart investment and labor of love, Jimmy opened JLuv’s spot in West Midtown on 8th Ave in an area that wasn’t yet developed. But Jimmy had a vision. He understood the potential value of West Midtown, as well as its attractiveness to small business owners. Jimmy also knew that many music labels were moving into the Worldwide Plaza building on W. 50th street, and that proximity to his current music industry contacts was the key to his success.

“Always do one thing right first”

Jimmy was the ultimate entrepreneur; a networker and a visionary. He’s the type of individual every aspiring entrepreneur should meet and have at least one meaningful conversation with. He has dropped many, many gems of information that have stuck with me until this very day. The opening quote, Before me there wasn’t any, after me there won’t be none“, well, that’s what Jimmy said when he broke and destroyed everything in the shop that he couldn’t take with him on the last day of business. He even broke the mirrors.

There was always a wealth of knowledge in the brevity of Jimmy’s gems.

“Always do one thing right first” is what he would tell us. I heavily suspected that this was mainly directed towards the barbers who were primarily interested in working at JLuv’s Spot in the hopes of furthering their yet to be discovered rap talents. Barber by day, rapper “in the studio working on my album” by night. Jimmy loathed those kinds. His advice was for them to focus on their skill, and NOT their rapping skills.

One thing I can say about Jluv’s Spot Barbershop is that you don’t know how to cut black hair, do a fade, or give a flat top until you’ve worked there, so you had to have real skills in order to be considered good enough to be in JLuv’s employment. And if you weren’t exactly blessed in that department, yet had the ambition and the hunger, then that was the place for you. And we had legendary Barbers such as Fritz the Kat, Buddha Amar Kevin (Jimmy nicknamed him T-Rex because of the shape of his head), Ronald Roach, Mirlet August, Roudy Jeanaut, and Juanita Shamp. And then there were those who weren’t so legendary. I saw barbers came to work there and quit 1/2 a day later for a bevy of reasons. You def had to come prepared for the pressure and the pace.

I can’t say that I got along great with Jimmy “JLuv” Jenkins, but the was such a wise individual and savy businessman that I had no choice but to gladly watch him daily and absorb his wise ways. Because I knew that one day I wanted to be just like him.

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