An in-depth one-on-one interview with Lawrence Johnson, franchise owner of V’s Orlando, as he prepares for the grand opening of the first V’s Barbershop location in Florida!
Where did you grow up?
I was born in the Philippines at the US Naval Hospital in Subic Bay. I have called several states and cities my hometown over my life due to my father’s career in the US Navy. We have family that stretches from coast to coast.
Tell us about your family:
My wife is a native Floridian; born and raised in Jacksonville. I spent the majority of my adolescence growing up in Virginia Beach, VA. In 2012 we moved from Atlanta, GA to Orlando, FL after the birth of our first child. We will be celebrating the birth of our second a child this December.
What prompted you to start V’s Orlando?
As a little kid, I always looked forward to that morning or afternoon when my dad and I would go to the barbershop. My mom would take me if dad was on deployment or away on a business trip.
As a young man, I held onto those memories. The barbershop was fun. Whether it was the life advice, experiences being shared, sports rivalries, current events being discussed, or just neighbors coming together that had not seen each other in a while due to our busy lives… the barbershop always provided an environment that was special for everyone. It was a place where the guys could come to relax.
As I became older and traveled more, I realized that not every barbershop was the same. Providing a fun and safe environment where guys could get a haircut was added motivation that tied into the nostalgia of wanting to bring V’s into our community.
How long has the V’s Barbershop been in business?
V’s Barbershop has been in business since 1999. We officially joined the V’s family in 2014 as a franchise owner. We are one of over 30 shops around the country and are the first location in Florida. I was introduced to the opportunity to become an owner in 2008 when I was a customer at one of their shops in Phoenix, AZ. The story of the founders’ motivations for opening V’s really tied into some of the same interests I had and experiences of going to the barbershop.
How many people does V’s Orlando employ?
Today our V’s Orlando location has five employees, including myself. Outside of ownership, we employ barbers and shoe shiners. We will have additional opportunities in the future to expand our team as we ramp up. Our Grand Opening is slated for December 2016 and we’re located in the Lakeside Village Shopping Center of the Horizon West development in Windermere, near Hwy 535.
What are you your hobbies/interests?
Living in Orlando, we spend a lot of our family fun days at Disney World and other theme parks/museums. We love being so close to the many cruise ports in Florida and enjoy cruising to different places. We are Florida Gator fans and enjoy supporting our hometown teams and community events. It’s not uncommon to see us out with our stroller popping up at functions around the city. We try to get out of the house and enjoy life as much as we can!