Louisiana law and administrative codes are chock-full of burdensome regulations that keep countless Louisianans from realizing their full potential. Some of the most offensive examples of these regulations are expansive and burdensome occupational licensure requirements to pursue their dreams. Occupational licensure is a fancy way of saying government permission slip to work. All states require some form of occupational licenses, but few are as aggressive as Louisiana.

Just ask Daltonio Elaire.

“I’ve been cutting hair since I was 12 years old. I got my license when I was 18.”

“When I finished school, I found a barber shop and I just worked there, built up my clientele, built up my reputation.”

“I could stay working at the barber shop, and help build someone else’s business or I could kind of branch out, take a leap and start my own thing.”

“My daughter was the reason for me to start my mobile barber shop because I wasn’t just living for myself anymore.”

“I at least needed to start the process to where I could leave her something one day. Well I went to the city and they didn’t have any problem with it.”

“They told me to go to the Board of Health. They approved and gave me a peddler’s license to be able to mobilely operate. I asked her, I was like, ‘Well, is there anyone else I need to talk to?’”

“She said, ‘Well no, you’re good to go.’”

“It was amazing. Just seeing people excited to see a mobile barber shop. People would honk the horn and say ‘Hey man, we like the mobile barber shop!’”

“It makes you feel like you were doing something right.”

“After months of operation, I got a call saying that mobile barber shops are illegal in Louisiana.”

“I said, ‘Okay well if they’re illegal, how do we go about making it legal?’”

I was told that it will never be legal. Okay well, what am I being shut down for? Did I do anything wrong?”

“It was devastating. It was devastating.”

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to move to Texas to make a living. You know, my life is here, my family is here. Just kind of everything that I know and everything that I love. I love Louisiana.”

“I’m just trying to make a living. Trying to follow the American dream. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’m just trying to pursue my happiness.”

– Daltonio Elaire |  Former Mobile Barber | Lafayette, LA