Lucas Gilbert is adept at telling a good story.
So it makes sense that there is a pretty good one behind how he ended up at barber school and opened Lando’s Barbershop in Mansfield.
Uniquely enough, it all started when he was, well, getting his hair cut at The Tamed Mane in Monticello.
“It was time for a career change,” said Gilbert, who had worked for Clean Care in Mansfield cleaning carpets for nearly 14 years.
“My wife had been trying to get me to go to school for about three years, and I was getting my hair cut, chatting with my barber, and he said, ‘you’re very friendly, and good at meeting new people, so you might as well learn how to cut hair and make some money while you’re doing it’,” said the new business owner.
Fortunately, a two-year waiting list at Lockhart’s Barber School in Decatur changed to a last-second opening, and he received his state certification in September. On Oct. 1, Gilbert was cutting hair, trimming beards and offering other traditional barbershop offerings at his one-room shop at 114 N. Jefferson St.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. Seeing the transformation, the smiles on peoples faces. It’s amazing what a haircut can do for fellas,” he added.
Lando’s offers styles from pompadour to full head shaves, as well as razor fades. He also carries Reuzel Hair Pomade for his customers.
The only traditional barbershop in Mansfield, Gilbert said business is going well, exceeding his customer goal in his first month of operation.
“Guys want to come in and take a load off. Obviously they’re wanting a good haircut too, but I try to make sure they leave happy and laughing,” said Gilbert, a lifelong Mansfield resident and two-term member of the local village board.
At first he was going to exert his unique sense of humor into the business by naming it “It’ll Grow Back,” but his wife talked him out of it.
“My wife thought everyone that knows me would think it’s hilarious, but that I might not get new clients,” he was told.
So the 2000 Blue Ridge High School grad named it after his German Shepherd rescue dog, Lando, who is also featured on the business logo.
His favorite part of the new vocation?
“I enjoy seeing the hair take shape,” said Gilbert, who also worked at Horizon Hobby in Champaign before his stint at Clean Care.
Lando’s Barbershop is open Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At this point the business is walk-in and cash only. Additional information can be found on the business’ Facebook page.