In his early twenties, Shaun “Lucky” Corbett was arrested on three different occasions. First, he was arrested for a concealed weapon, then he was caught for breaking and entering, and finally on drug charges, which was later dismissed because the search that led to the discovery of cocaine in his car was illegal.
However, it was his third arrest that led Corbett to turn over a new leaf. He wanted to live an honest life but no one was willing to hire someone with a criminal record. On one occasion when he applied for a job, he left blank the section seeking information on his criminal record.
When he was called for an interview, he confessed to serving time in jail and the managers of Value City hired him for his honesty. He worked there for more than two years and later enrolled in No Grease barber school.
Finance almost became an impediment for him to train as a barber. So he took a job to serve pizza to keep the cashing coming in. It earned him the name Pizza Boy and Mr Pizza.
He graduated in 2016 as a certified barber and eventually managed to acquire his own barbering shop at North Tryon Street. He opened his first Lucky Spot barbershop in 2010 and later operated his shop in Walmart, making him the first Black businessperson to ever own and operate a barbershop in any Walmart.
“I want to open a Lucky Spot in every inner-city in America,” Corbett told. “I want it to be the standard of what community barbering is.”
Lucky Sport barbershop is not just a local shop where people go for a haircut but it has also become a place that promotes cooperation between African Americans and the police. Corbett has now gone from being a former felon to a community leader.
“You know, I’ve been building on the relationship and the community service that I had already done with Walmart. I started meeting and talking with certain people higher up on the food chain,” Corbett told.
Now 41, Corbett has opened three locations in Walmart, his latest location being in Gastonia amidst the pandemic. “Covid allowed me to map things out like I got the next 20 something stores laid out,” he said.
His next shop in Columbia, SC., is set to open in the spring while another shop is being planned in Atlanta. “We’re really just taking advantage of the opportunity, and it’s bigger than us, we’re about creating opportunities for others,” Corbett said.