Mounds View barber expands, aims to train next generation

Nathan Sheferaw opened his own barbershop at the age of 21. Now, after just a few years in business, the now 25-year-old is looking to expand and train the next generation of barbers.

On any given day, Shifty’s Premium Cuts in Mounds View is abuzz with activity. Aside from the fresh cuts and styles, Sheferaw says that he was drawn to the comfort of the barbershop as a kid. 

"Sometimes a barbershop is more than a place to get a haircut, it’s a place for people to come and express their emotions and talk and some people look at it as a sense of therapy," said Sheferaw during an interview with FOX 9's Bisi Onile-Ere. 

As a first-generation immigrant from Ethiopia, he’s come a long way. "I'd like to be a mentor to younger African Americans like myself to be able to show them that success can be different variations," said Sheferaw.

 Nearly four years after opening his doors, Sheferaw is expanding. 

"On this side is going to be a barbershop and with God's grace, on the other side, it's going to be a school," said Sheferaw. 

He’s relocating to this larger space just down the street. "It may not look like it yet, but this is going to be the youngest owned barber school in the state of Minnesota. It’s going to be called Headstart barber school," said Sheferaw. 

When asked why it was it important for him to have not only a barber shop but also a school, Sheferaw responded, "I really wanted to empower the youth in a way that I thought was meaningful."

From master barber to teacher, Sheferaw hopes to leave his mark. "It’s a beautiful trade, so I’m very excited to pass that knowledge that I got from other people toward the next generation," said Sheferaw.

Sheferaw says that he is the youngest barber in the state to obtain a license to teach. He plans to open his barber school early next year.