EUSTACE–First Class Barber College, one of the only institutions of its kind between Dallas and Longview, is located off Highway 175 in Eustace. It’s a Christ-centered college that teaches the knowledge of longtime area barber Leslie Smith, who started in Mabank before taking her skills to Eustace.
Smith got her instructor’s license and opened the college in summer 2020. She wears many hats at the college, from which she wants to graduate “good, old-fashioned barbers,” she says. “I’m a one-man show,” she adds.
Walk-ins are welcome and can get a haircut or a hot shave, among other services. Cost is $5 per service and tips are welcome for the students, some of whom are lake-area residents while others come from as far away as Lindale and Corsicana.
Smith has tailored the college’s program to also allow working people to be able to get their barber’s license.
“Leslie has cut my hair for years,” says student Jake Raney, who is a Gun Barrel City Fire captain. “Every day off at the fire station, and most of the time I’m not there, I’m here doing my hours.”
The college is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The college also offers evening classes for those working students. Full-time students can complete the program in six months, requiring 40 hours per week. Part-time students finish in 12 months, attending at least 20 hours per week.
Smith started her barbering career 13 years ago, at Texas Barber College in Dallas, then went straight to her dad’s Mabank Barbershop, where she spent 8.5 years and developed the skills of a Master Barber.
In Jan. 2017, she opened her own shop three doors down from the current college – the Eustace Barbershop.
“The community has been awesome to us,” Smith says. “We’d like to build our walk-in business. The school wouldn’t be what it is without what successfully comes from God. Not only do students get good learning about haircuts, but they get life skills they will carry on with them.”
To schedule a consultation, contact Leslie at (903) 425-9016.
“This area is growing, and there’s plenty of more students and plenty of more people to come, in the name of Jesus,” Smith says.