MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)-- "In our community a haircut is important. Like you know to some folks a haircut might make their day."
Avrian Pauley knows the difference a haircut can make.
"Sometimes a haircut brings opportunity."
You can find the 34-year-old barber at one of the hottest spots in Mobile, spending most of his time at 5th Quarter Barbershop downtown.
He averages 150 clients per week.
But it wasn't always like this for the Toulminville man.
"I thought it was over with. hospital bound for a year, bed bound for like a year, couldn't do nothing on my own."
Back in 2012 Pauley was shot in his back, paralyzing him from the waist down.
"Doctors said I was never gonna walk again, never gonna use the bathroom on my own again."
Just a few months shy of finishing school, he found himself helpless.
"You have to move at somebody else will and move when somebody else ready to move. It's a hard feeling. It's hard to deal with."
Picking up clippers gave him a sense of independence.
"Found like a little groove and learned how to adjust with the clippers in my situation."
Pauley says poor choices lead to him being shot, but what really set his course was finding himself facing a robbery charge for something he didn't do while still paralyzed.
"Woke me up. I had to get myself together, finish my barbering."
Today Pauley is a master barber.
Against odds he's gained feeling on the left side of his body.
His walker is a symbol of what he's been through.
His next big goal is to pass what he's learned to others through teaching.
"Took me away from where I was, might be able to help somebody else too. It changed life."
He hopes troubled young people see, no matter where you come from or where you've been, if you have a passion see it through.”
Through the success of cutting hair Pauley has been able to help others in his community by sponsoring several youth athletic teams, giving kids hope to reach their full potential.
His advice to young people?
Stay away from the wrong crowd and make your own decisions because the person who will face the consequence is you.