Gene Blackmon

by Terry Watson | January 19th, 2021
Gene Blackmon (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Gene Blackmon (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

He has made it a priority of keeping his business in the same neighborhood that he grew up in near the Phillips Avenue area.

Gene Blackmon is the owner and director of Prestige Barber College in Greensboro, NC. Founded in 2011, Prestige provides an opportunity to aspiring professional barbers.

Gene brings several decades of knowledge and experience to Prestige. Upon graduating from barber school, himself, he spent some time as an apprentice and eventually progressed to opening his own barbershop in Greensboro. He did not stop there. Soon he would be the owner of several shops, and the co-owner of others.

Being a business owner isn’t the only thing that matters to Gene. As a son, father, coach, and community activist, he is actively involved in the affairs that matter in his community. He has spear headed several campaigns that have addressed the needs of others, including transforming Prestige Barber College into a drop off location for supplies and resources for those who were affected by a tornado that ravished the eastern part of Greensboro in April 2018. Prestige Barber College often provides free haircuts for citizens, as well as partnering with other organizations for back-to-school events and more. They have also provided Covid-19 testing on site.

Giving back and being involved is especially important to Gene. “I offer hope and opportunity. With Prestige I am giving our students an opportunity to become entrepreneurs through the industry of barbering. We funnel many of our students to the barbershops that we own in Greensboro,” he says. Now with an enrollment of 30 students, Gene has obtained ownership of the building and remodeled it as well.

Many of the goals for Prestige is to increase enrollment and grow their scholarship fund to assist others. They also offer in house financing, which enables them to meet the needs of almost anyone who is interested in attending. “Prestige is for the community. We are a resource that offers hope. We offer haircuts and mentorship, but we also work vigorously to meet the needs of our community,” Gene says.

Gene shares that he wanted to ensure that he would bring something positive to his community. “I am a firm believer that in order to increase the value in our community, we must keep our businesses in our community. It was an honor to open a school in the neighborhood that I grew up in,” he says.

Gene also wanted to emphasize the importance of what a trade program, such as barbering is. “A trade can instantly make someone an entrepreneur. Trades have been just as, or even more valuable as a four-year college degree. Trade programs have a minimum cost as compared to a four-year degree program,” he shares.

As things move forward, Gene plans to empower everyone he encounters with knowledge, encouragement, and education. He also plans to increase enrollment at Prestige Barber College. “Our opportunities are available to everyone who is serious about making barbering a career choice,” he says. To learn more about Prestige Barber College, please visit their location, or contact the school directly.

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