TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Gary Thomas is much more than a barber. He’s become a source of inspiration for many who sit in his chair.
Thomas moved to the U.S. from Jamaica at age 18 and has been a professional barber for the last 16 years. In about three weeks, he'll add small business owner to his resume.
He's about to open G-CUTS - his very own barbershop on East Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.
“When they come to me and say, 'Gary, I see where you came from. I see how much you've grown,' that’s the inspiration,” Thomas said.
Life wasn’t always so smooth, however. A few years ago, he found himself homeless, living in his car.
“Scary, but it just led me to my passion and I knew barbering was a passion of mine,” he said.
His passion has attracted a unique fan base. Thomas has become known as the unofficial barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“His wisdom, his drive, and his confidence, and the person that he is really is very infectious. That’s why everyone enjoys being around him,” said Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.
“When they come in here, they feel more than just an athlete, they feel like one of us,” Thomas said.
He transforms his clients both inside and out, just like he did for himself.
“I have this nice picture of all sneakers and stuff in my truck, from the trunk to owning my own house to owning my own barbershop, that’s my glory,” he told FOX 13.