William Winters

by Terry Watson | May 17th, 2017
William Winters (Photos by Jerry Barbry)

William Winters (Photos by Jerry Barbry)

William Winters is an optimist who believes in second chances. He is also a dreamer who goes after his dreams. One dream that he chased until its fruition was owning his very own business, Mr. GroomRoom Barbershop in Raleigh, N.C.

Winters grew up in a household with three brothers, his mother and step father who stepped in and filled a void left by his father. He attended North Carolina Central University and majored in Business Management. Afterwards, he joined the U.S. Navy and moved to Washington D.C. and served as an administrative secretary for a Admiral stationed at Fort Myers and The Pentagon.

He later moved back to Raleigh, N.C. and obtained employment at North Carolina State University at their Telecommunications Department. That stint lasted for two years before he moved on to a position at United Bank Card as an Account Executive. His responsibilities included handling new accounts.

While at UBC, Winters says he realized that he wanted to do more with his life. “I used to cut hair on the side because I didn’t want to go to any barbershops. I started cutting my own hair. I got good at it and friends asked me to cut their hair. I loved what I did because it put smiles on faces of my friends and they bragged about it to their friends,” he says.

His skills caught the eye of the barbershop owner at Picasso Cuts, formerly located on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. He convinced Winters to enroll in barber school at Sherri’ls University. He enrolled but later attended Park West Barber School. This is where he met Sherod Holloway who was the Director, Dennis Horne and Eric West who served as instructors. Winters says they taught him everything he did not know about barbering.

The first Barbershop he worked at was Before and After Barbershop. After being there for two years, he decided it was time to branch out on his own and the reality of Mr. GroomRoom Barbershop was born.

Mr. GroomRoom Barbershop is a shop that concentrates on all aspects of men’s grooming from simple haircuts to dyeing of hair to the trending mohawks worn by many today. They also specialize in some female styles of which Winters says are starting to diversify due to their technique of cutting and styling. “Mr. GroomRoom is bringing back the art of style in the dress code department while we concentrate on grooming our clients with finesse and precision. That’s why we wear bowties as the dress code,” he says. “We have a laid back environment with Jazz playing so you can relax while getting properly groomed.”

“Mr. GroomRoom Barbershop actually started in the classroom at Parkwest Barber School. We had to divide into groups and come up with a concept of a barbershop with square footage and a business plan. I actually used my concept from the classroom and made it a reality,” says Winters.

He shared the concept with his brother, Gary Hooker, who is an investor and business partner. It started out in a small suite and it has now grown to where it is today. One of his fellow classmates, Rossano Harris saw his vision and made the decision to come along with Winters and has remained ever since.

Their client base is growing on a daily basis and they are expecting to expand soon. All of this is due to their vision of respecting their clients and giving them the service that they expect and want. “We listen to our clients and what they don’t get from other shops, we fill that void,” says Winters.

In the future, Winters says he would like for the Mr. GroomRoom name to be as big as Great Clips and Sports Clips, and be an asked about entity across this state and maybe soon after, across the country. “I want future clients to experience what our current clients are experiencing. Most men today only relax and go to sleep when they sit down only when they are somewhere comfortable. I want Mr. GroomRoom Barbershop to be one of those places,” he says.

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