Main Street barber proves to be a cut above
In many ways, Billy Cregger was born to wield shears and a pair of scissors. The son of a hairstylist and the great grandson of a barber, he had always harbored aspirations of joining what had become the de facto family business.
So it was with that ambition that Cregger, fresh out of barber school, opened Billy’s Barber Shop, in the back of the Main Street clothing store Prospect three years ago. But Cregger was the only employee, and the shop featured just one chair. It wasn’t long before he became unable to keep up with the demand.
"Every day is booked up, and I’m usually booked out for two or three days," he said. "I feel bad turning people away every day, especially people who want their hair done day-of."
After nearly three years of that, he hired another barber, Jorge Yepez, to work when Cregger was off, ensuring the shop would be open seven days a week. The success of that idea turned into another: What if we expanded our space to accommodate another chair and brought on Yepez full time?
That has become a reality, as Cregger recently put the final touches on an expansion, something he didn’t envision when he first dreamed of having a shop on Main Street.
"I never even thought this would happen," he said. "I was happy just being by myself, being a one-man show. But I saw the need to grow the business. So I couldn’t be happier with how this has happened."
Cregger attributes his success to modern men craving a simple haircut experience. They want to ditch the glitz and glamor associated with salons and return to places offering the barber shop experiences of old, centered on classic cuts and camaraderie.
"I love getting to know all my clients," he said. "You form really strong relationships with everybody, and that’s fun. Obviously you have different relationships with different people. But some of them become some of your best friends, even though sometimes you only see them here."
Along with the revival of the classic barber shop scene, Cregger has seen a resurgence of men caring about their appearance. And that’s driven the other big change his shop has undergone since opening: In addition to haircuts and shaves, he now offers grooming products, ranging from shaving kits to hair pomade. With that, what began as a one-chair barber shop has transformed into a one-stop shop.
"Guys were asking for certain products, like, ‘Oh, you should carry this or you should carry that,’" he said. "So I just started adding products to accommodate their needs. They can get everything here."
For more information, visit billysbarbershop.com.
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