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Mobile barber goes from backyard bus to barber shop

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- One year after spearheading a change in the state law, mobile barber William Burt opened a brick-and-mortar shop - a permanent location.

That change in the state law allowed him to bring his Kut Kings barber shop in a bus from his backyard to the road -- a part of the business Burt wants to grow.

"There are definite plans to continue the mobile shop to help the shut-ins, single parent families, halfway houses, community schools," Burt said, adding that he wants to help those who aren't able to access -- or afford -- grooming services at a brick and mortar shop.

To offer those services for free and still be able to make a living, Burt plans to raise funds for the mobile barber shop. And he expects to lead the way for other barbers to follow.

"Initially, I will be the one driving [the bus] to set the tone and establish boundaries so there will be a blueprint to follow," Burt said, "There are plans for eventually having multiple mobile barber shops."

Burt -- and his customers -- say it's been a long road getting from his backyard bus to his new place at 526 West Mullan.

"We talked about this a couple of years ago," Tony Jernigan said, "So, right now, I'm thinking his dream is being realized. I'm thinking his happiness has to be at the top level right now because he reached a goal [from] where he was...I'm super happy for him. I think that he's going to be very successful, very successful."

Kut Kings had a soft opening last week. Today, there were window washers, well-wishing friends calling and stopping by and a bustling lobby full of black and gold balloons.

"I came by and I'm like, 'Oh, this is beautiful, man," Jernigan said, "I'm going to be here [for] a long time supporting him."

Burt says he intends to keep supporting his community, and building a community -- of barbers.

"My goal is to recruit barbers in other parts of the state," he said, "I can't be everywhere at once."

At the end of the day, he says it was divine intervention that brought him through his struggles to this day and his plans are to keep going.