By Jamarean Heard
When customers enter the Birmingham House of Cuts, the men will likely get more than just a taper or a fade and the ladies a wash and curl.
There’s Torrey Walker, a barber who helps customers “look good for the hood,” but is also quick to offer sage advice on anything to anyone who will listen, especially to young people in need of some guidance.
“Stay focused. Stay in school,” said Walker, who has been at the barbershop/hair salon situated outside of downtown Birmingham for five years, to a group of NABJ JSHOP reporters visiting several local Black-owned small businesses on Tuesday.
“Make sure you get your diploma. Don’t let the streets call,” Walker added. “They will call you. You don’t need to answer.”
Marcus Williams, a regular client at the establishment, agrees. He loves the hospitality and has “no plans to change barbers for a long time.”
However, haircuts isn’t the only thriving business in this building owned by Jimmy Shallow, a local businessman. Stylist Mia Maynor occupies space for her growing “Shades of Mia” clientele who come to her for various hair styles including pixie cuts, extensions, silk press weaves, twists, braids and loc maintenance. She even shapes eyebrows!
Maynor, who has been sharing space at House of Cuts for two years, said she makes an effort to be diversified” with her styling. Maynor said her goals are simple and straightforward: keep her customers happy and coming back to the shop.
And like any emerging entrepreneur, Maynor wants to have her own shop one day. She believes that if you put God first, “everything else will fall into place in due time.”
“Get in a profession that you believe you will thrive in,” Maynor said. “Don’t do what everybody else expects you to do.”