SoZo, a new hair salon on wheels, will start servicing the Middletown area in 2016.

SoZo, a new hair salon on wheels, will start servicing the Middletown area in 2016.

According to SoZo’s President and Artistic Director Stephen Wilkerson, the business will be convenient to anyone who needs a new hairdo, make-up, or just a cut, but doesn’t want to drive to a brick and mortar location to get one.

The salon is inside a 38-foot 2014 Forest River Georgetown RV equipped with four swiveling chairs, mirrors, sinks, and hair dryers. For waiting customers, there is also a large screen TV, a fireplace, and an elegant couch to pass the time.

Wilkerson and his business partner, Tony Felicia, had the inside of the RV customized for the business with the luxurious interior and all the amenities of a typical hair salon. The vehicle runs about $250,000.

“For weddings, special events, the elderly, girls night out – we’ll come to you,” Wilkerson said.

First in Delaware

Wilkerson’s wife – Gina Wilkerson – is the founder and CEO of SoZo. She is credited for coming up with the business idea and putting up the capital.

But trying to get the business off the ground had some challenges. Two years ago, when Wilkerson attempted to get a business license from the state, he said he was turned down.

“’We don’t have it. We don’t license it. It’s not available in the state. Period’ – That’s what they told me,” he recalled. “But that didn’t change my wife’s mind from moving forward with the idea.”

Felicia, a management consultant and former Newark councilman, came into the picture to help Wilkerson obtain the business license he needed.

Soon after, Wilkerson went before a state licensing board to request that he be granted the first license for a mobile hair salon in the state.

“I told them the story of one of my clients who comes to my salon with an oxygen tank – with a compromised immune system too – and that I had promised to her that I would make this happen,” Wilkerson recalled. “In the end, the state was very responsive and very kind.”

Wilkerson was able to get the license he needed from the board. Now, he is in the process of obtaining business licenses from the different municipalities he intends to operate in, including from the Town of Middletown.

More than a hair salon

The Wilkersons, along with Felicia, see SoZo as more than a mobile hair salon – for them it’s a resource center that other hair stylists and barbers can use. The entrepreneurs will use the mobile hair salon to also offer extensions, manicures, custom made wigs, and barbershop services.

The business even has its own line of SoZo hair products made by a private label company, which Wilkerson hopes to make popular in the state and eventually, across the country.

“SoZo is a Greek orthodox term that means to deliver, to rescue, and to heal. In a nutshell, it’s what we want to do,” Wilkerson said. “I’m seeing things in a broader picture. Back in the day, your name was your function. So, I feel that this is a higher calling for my life.”

More information

SoZo Hair Salon

PHONE 888-348-SOZO (7696)

WEBSITE www.SoZoSignatureSalon.com