Bobby J

by Terry Watson | September 16th, 2016
Bobby "Bobby J" Erwin (Photo by Todd Youngblood)

Bobby “Bobby J” Erwin (Photo by Todd Youngblood)

Bobby Erwin is a man of dignity who walks by faith and not by sight. The Charlotte, N.C. native was brought up in a church where morals and values of life were taught. His values were also taught by his mother, who he says always had her doors open to help anyone, even if that means giving her last.

Erwin comes from humble beginnings. At the age of three, his father left him to be raised alone with his mother and other siblings. “I recall growing up in a two bedroom duplex and sleeping in the bed with two other people. Our struggle was real. Being part of a big family helped to ease the fact that we had no financial stability to do everything we wanted to,” he says. “I had to learn how to be a man on my own, because of the absence of my father.”

Erwin considers his mother, “Momma Fat” a hero because she took the time to raise not just her children, but her whole family and a neighborhood. Now, he is building his own legacy as owner of Prostyle Barbershop in Charlotte, which opened its doors on June 30th, 2014, Erwin’s 30th birthday.

He considers his shop to be one of the greatest gifts God could have blessed him with. “I wrote a paper In elementary school stating that I wanted to be a barber. I’m 32 years old now and not only a barber but a shop owner,” he says. After graduating from barber school in 2010, he dreamed of owning a barbershop, day in and day out. “I ate, slept and believed that I would be a shop owner until it became a reality,” he says.

The barbers and stylist of Prostyle provide the highest level of customer service possible, from retro to the latest styles, trends and textures. Their stylist also provide womens cuts, color and styles. Client consultations are always recommended and every Tuesday they promote a $5.00 special for kids regular haircuts. Erwin says he understands what a haircut does for a kids confidence, and how important it is to a parent. This is why he makes a haircut affordable for everyone.
Erwin credits his wife, JaTavia with being the force that pushes him to do more. “She impacts my career and life in ways that can’t be measured. When you have someone that believes in you just as much as you believe in yourself, it is amazing. There was a point in my life when I was working a third shift job while going to school and maintaining my duties as father and husband,” says Erwin. He had a breakdown during that time but no one understood him but his wife. “I wanted to give up and leave school and quit trying to chase my dreams. But she told me that I must be a fool to come this far and give up. She reminded me that is what people wanted me to do,” he explains.

What Erwin loves most about being a barbershop owner is the fact that nothing was handed to him. “We worked hard to get here. The atmosphere that we provide for our customers is kid friendly and family oriented. I love the fact that every barber here has their very own uniqueness which makes our team special. We take pride and pour love into everything we do. We learn daily and grow with each individual and client,” he says.

The staff of Prostyle is led by Erwin aka “Bobby J” who gives the coldest blackouts in the city. Ms. Doris aka “Ms. D” lets her presence be known with over 20 years of experience and is always willing to try new techniques. Malisha Stowe aka “Le Le The Fly Stylist” brings several tools to the team. She is a cosmetologist and barber and strives to be the best. Mario Mobley aka “Rio” specializes in the latest designs and designer cuts. Maurice Mobley aka “Moe” considers himself a specialist at fading everything in the chair and is capable of servicing all textures.

Prostyle is a shop that believes in serving and giving back to their community. Each year they host an annual back to school bash and collects school supplies and book bags for students. Many of the supplies that are given away are donated from many of the devoted clients of Prostyle. Along with Chef Darnell Bennett, they provide Thanksgiving dinner each year for 200 people. They’re also able to sponsor a family each year for Christmas by hosting a toy drive with the help of donations from their community and clients.

For anyone that may follow in Erwin’s footsteps, he advises them to never give up on their dreams. “Never depend on anyone and believe in God and have faith,” he says. “Success is by choice. You don’t always have to be the loudest, but be the smartest and with everything you do give it your best. Go confidently in the direction of your dream and make it your reality.”

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