Shaun “Lucky” Corbett was born on May 1 in Brooklyn, New York and currently resides in Charlotte, N.C. Corbett is a husband, proud father of 4 children and passionate owner of Da Lucky Spot Barbershop. Shaun’s passion for hair emerged when he was 13 and continues to drive his dedication for precision cutting and personalized customer service to any client that he services. Shaun has worked diligently to build a brand that creates a culture for community engagement and second chances.
After moving to Charlotte, life’s path for Shaun became a dark one. Becoming a parent at the tender age of 16 proved to be a life changing experience, forcing “Lucky” to grow up extremely fast. After making too many wrong decisions, he ended up going to prison and having to care for a family from behind bars. While incarcerated, Mr. Corbett decided to change his life for the better and obtained his GED. Shaun worked many meaningless jobs for minimum wage, just trying to survive. Realizing that he needed to do more to ensure his personal success, while working at Fuel Pizza he enrolled in No Grease Barber College and paved his way to a new shot at life.
After graduating in 2006 from Barber College with the highest scores to date, Corbett worked in the barbershop that he now successfully owns and manages. Mr. Corbett works tirelessly in the community by giving back and returns to No Grease Barber College to speak to the students about life in the barber industry; giving them a honest look on what they have to look forward to.. The barbershop hosts various annual non-profit community events such as its book bag drive, turkey drive, coat drive, health fair and new youth report card reward initiative that awards honor roll students with free haircuts and new shoes.
While watching T.V. in the wake of the slain Michael Brown situation, Corbett created and organized the “Cops & Barbers” initiative along with the NC Local Barbers Association and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. The initiative creates much needed dialogue between the community and the police and forces them to create meaningful relationships. Due to the largely successful initiative, Corbett was invited to the White House to speak with President Barack Obama’s Task Force and was selected and awarded as the “Charlottean of the Year” by Charlotte Magazine in 2015.
Professionally, Shaun set a goal for himself to win the Bronner Bros & Andis “Total Look” Barbering Competition and started working on that goal in February, 2014. Corbett took a total of 4 loses in stride before winning First Place in February 2016 by entering his re-creation of Eddie Murphy’s “Prince Hakeem” of the movie “Coming to America”. The day had finally come and was used as a testament of never giving up and using your losses to help you win! An advocate of community involvement, since opening his barbershop doors, Corbett has hosted annual give back events such as Back to School Book Bag donation events including Free Kids Haircuts, Community Turkey Giveback events and more. To date, Shaun and the barbershop has been able to give back to over 10,000 families in need.
Shaun’s philosophy is one that has given him the opportunity to leave an imprint in the community and translates well into any language – “my aim is to never forget my humble beginnings, work twice as hard to improve the quality of life and make a difference where I live and work.” Lucky is living proof that your starting point doesn’t determine your ending point, and that with determination, grind, passion and vision; you will go far beyond your wildest dreams.
Amps: How long have you been a Barber, and has being a Barbara always been your dream?
Shaun: I’ve been cutting hair ever since I was thirteen years old, but no being a barber actually wasn’t my dream it was something that I actually became good at. I never even thought about making a career out of it.
Amps: What were your dreams as a child?
Shaun: I wanted to be a basketball player then I went through a little rap faze. I grew up in the 90’s so as a teenager the crack epidemic was real big, and I got caught up in a little bit of that. I made some bad decisions
Amps: Who or what motivated you to become a barber?
Shaun: Really to be honest with you I got tired of getting fired. (laughing) I worked at my last job, and it took me a long time to get that job because I had a felony, so I just stopped checking the box that asked if you had a felony. I went for an interview for a job at a department store, and he asked why didn’t I check yes or no on my application? I told him that I had gotten into some trouble when I was younger. I told him that I was a fast learner, and if he gave me the opportunity that I would not let him down. So he hired me, and I worked there for four years until they went out of business. After that I got another job and worked there for a short period of time, because the shift that I worked on that whole shift got laid off. I sat at home for a few months and my money started getting low, so I was trying to figure out what my next move was going to be. One day I got a call from the Barber school, and it really surprised me, because I had put in an application a while back and I had forgotten all about it. They asked me was I still interested I said yes they told me what time to be there, and the rest is history.
Amps: Why is it important to you to give back to the community?
Shaun: Well, I think the biggest thing for me is that I know what it feels like not to have a lot, and going without. I know what it’s like to live from pillar to post, not having a stable place to live, and not having any food to eat sometimes. I was a victim of a lot of these things that play a lot in our community. I promised myself that once I became a business owner that I would make it a priority to have my business give back and represent the community, because I know what it’s like not to have.
Amps: How do you feel about the Police shootings, and how did it affect your life?
Shaun: Well, the police shooting that we’ve seen going across our nation is terrible. My heart goes out to the families of the victims as well as the police officers. We don’t look at the fact that the police officer’s families are being affected as well, and it’s terrible. I think as a community and as a country we need to figure out how to work through this, because that separation us versus them is not getting us anywhere. It’s just making us have more funerals, protesting, more hatred, and separation. We just need to figure out how to work this out.
Amps: Why did you decide to reach out and team up with police captain Rob Dance?
Shaun: I meet Captain Dance at a meeting that we had at the police headquarters for my cops and barbers initiative. I actually had the opportunity to meet all of the captions from all of the divisions in the city. One of the things that I asked for when I was putting together the cops and barbers was to be able to have all of the captions, lieutenants, and deputy chiefs all together in one room, so that they could hear what we were trying to do. We asked for all the ones that were on board to raise their hands, and the ones that wasn’t on board to raise their hands, because we needed to identify the ones who wasn’t on board. Everyone loved the idea, and that was how I meet Captain Rob Dance.
Amps: What was the breaking point that made you say enough is enough?
Shaun: Just like anyone else as a parent we were all frustrated, but I think after the Michael Brown incident as I watched the people of Ferguson just tear down and destroy their community, and I knew that in time if we didn’t do anything something like that could happen right here in Charlotte. At that time my son was eighteen years old, and I had just bought him a car. I knew as a parent I knew I had to teach him the right way how to handle his self during a police stop. I knew as a parent that I had to send him out here in this world, and I just wondered how many more parents didn’t know what to teach their children? I didn’t know because no one thought me. I said ok I see what’s going on, so the first thing that we have to do is protect our kids. The first thing we need to do is to arm them with their rights. Let them know what to do what they don’t have to do, and things of that nature. I also wanted to get up close and personal and let these officers know how we feel. I feel like if that officer would have had any type of relationship with Michael Brown or that community he wouldn’t have been so quick to shoot that young man.
Amps: What can we expect from you in the future?
Shaun: Well, I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing. This is a marathon not a sprint, and I just want to continue to build those relationships. The police violence that we are dealing with it’s unfortunate that we don’t won’t to talk about it until something happens, and that’s the main thing that I keep driving in the head of the police department. I said you have to get out of your cars and deal with these people, because if you wait to get out of your cars only when an incident happens. When something happens the community don’t want to hear what you have to say they’re not going to want to have any dealings with you. We got a chance to have these conversations with the police even when what I like to call the quiet the times, because unfortunately we don’t like to have these conversation until someone gets shot. It’s our responsibly as well as law enforcement, but it’s our responsibly as people of these communities to put pressure on these law enforcements. You can show someone in more ways than one that you’re not intimidated by them. Violation is not the only way to show them that you’re not intimidated. All they have to do is listen to what we have to say. There are a thousand ways to skin a cat. Going out of your way to say hi to an officer just might save your child’s life
Amps: What advice would you give people especially African Americans?
Shaun: The first thing is to remain calm and know your rights and try your best to control the situation. A lot of us like to have out day in court right on the side of the road, and as you can see that’s not working for us and that’s when you start those relationships. Get involved in your community and once you get involved in your community you are going to run into some officers that really care about that community, and that’s when you start building those relationships. There are good officers and there are bad officers, and our job as a community is to find the good ones because we are outnumbered.
Contact info: www.daluckyspotbarbershop.com