GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – From prison to chief executive owner, Green Bay’s Albert Walker is Black History. The business owner says he owes his success to his family, and he hopes his upbringing inspires others.
“Albert Walker, barber, owner, father, husband, man of God, and I think I said that in reverse,” stated Walker, owner of Imago Dei Barber Lounge.
48-year-old business owner Albert Walker was raised in Chicago by his mother and sister. As a teen, Albert’s sister married, which resulted in the family relocating to Green Bay. Walker says he had no intention of moving to Green Bay.
“Actually, I was not trying to end up in Green Bay, but through a series of different events, I ended up in Green Bay,” explained Walker.
During his adolescence, Walker often found himself in a world of trouble. Committing crimes that placed him behind bars. Walker says while growing up, he was often left alone.
“My mom worked so much that I just quickly got attached to the streets. I got involved in gangs. That led me to do several years in prison, I’m probably just now getting to a point where I’ve spent more time of my life outside of the correctional facility than in,” said Walker.
As Walker found himself in and out of prison, his sister was learning a craft that he soon fell in love with. A craft that Walker says cost him a few bad hair days.
“My sister, she enrolled into a cosmetology training, her second day, they sent her home with a kit, and she totally trashed my hair, and from that point forward, I stopped going to anybody to get my haircut, I just started doing myself, I was doing a horrible job at first, but I began to learn and then I just said I’m cutting my hair from this point forward,” stated Walker.
Walker used his sister’s kit to sharpen his hairdressing skills, and before he knew it, he had a unique list of clients.
“Eventually, one day, I cut my hair in front of a couple of my friends, then I started cutting their hair, and then I started cutting everybody in the neighborhood’s hair, along that way, I was also getting in trouble, so I was going to prison, so I was cutting everybody in prison’s hair and then I got out and said forget it I know I’m good at it, so I decided to finally go to barber college,” said Walker.
After years of working to overcome his past, Walker took a chance and opened his own business. At his shop, Imago Dei Barber Lounge, Walker has served people from all walks of life, including celebrities like former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.
“The great joy for me is to know that I’m serving and I ‘m being productive, and when I can pour into the lives of those around me and I can see them go out and be productive and produce fruit and grow, that’s very satisfying to me, you can’t put a dollar amount on that,” said Walker.
As for the future, Walker plans to use his skills to help others serve their community. Walker is looking to turn his barber lounge into an institution of higher learning.