Dig Baton Rouge

Grooming Tigers: Dorm Room Kutz

By Rickey Miller

The faces of popular athletes stare at you from the walls of Dorm Room Kutz, but the 31-year-old owner, Jamel Bowser, has not always had it so easy.

After his humble beginnings as a barber where Bowser went from dorm room to dorm room cutting hair, he attributes his success to his clients who believed in his dreams.

“My shop is only here today because one of my clients believed in my dreams,” said Bowser.  He explained that his client invested money into his dream, and because of his client’s monetary support he was able to purchase his building.

It took hard work to get where he is today. Bowser first began cutting hair while serving in the Navy in 2003.  He later moved to Houston, Texas, where he attended Texas Barber College before he moved to Baton Rouge.

After his business grew from dorm to dorm, Bowser began cutting hair at his apartment. On January 19, 2011, Bowser cut his first client’s hair under the name Dorm Room Kutz.  Bowser said he is grateful for his beginning and his shop would not be what it is today without his clients. Bowser keeps his focus on the LSU community.

“I got bit by the Tiger,” said Bowser.  He said his LSU clients not only have shown him a great deal of support, but actually taught him a lot and helped him become a better barber.

Dorm Room Kutz is unique in the way that it serves all ethnicities, cultures, and races.  It is one of the only barbershops in the area that anyone can go and feel comfortable.

“In my shop you can make new friends, network, talk about sports,” said Bowser. “It is the atmosphere that makes my shop unique.”

The shop is also deeply enrooted in LSU traditions. On the walls of the shop are the names and pictures of many of the athletes Bowser has and continues to service.  Bowser said when he sees his athlete clients on television, he wants them looking their best.

Bowser’s willingness to work around his clients’ schedules makes his shop unique.

“I give up a lot of my personal time to satisfy my customers,” said Bowser.

Dorm Room Kutz is open seven days a week for 12 hours or more a day.  It’s a story of what dreams and goals people can accomplish when they are dedicated.

Bowser hasn’t stopped dreaming though. He said his next goal is to be affiliated with LSU campus itself.

“I would one day like my barbershop to be the campus barbershop that’s located in the union,” said Bowser.

Business for Bowser continues to increase as he settles into his newly renovated location at University View II plaza, at 4225 Nicholson Drive Suite 104.

Bowser’s advice for others who dream of owning their own businesses one day is to “pray first, work hard, and look for the people that will be sent your way to help you. Don’t burn bridges.”

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