Carbonear woman's barber shop business booming

When Hogan's Barbershop opened in July of 2014, owner Michelle Hogan says that she expected business would be good- but today, she says she had no idea that it would be this good.

Michelle Hogan combined love of art with passion for hair styling with Hogan's Barbershop

Owner Michelle Hogan and assistant Robin Slade. (Mark Squibb)

When Michelle Hogan opened her barber shop in Carbonear in July of 2014, she says that she expected business would be good- but today, she says she had no idea that it would be this good.

"I knew it was going to be busy over time... but I didn't think it would get so busy so fast.   I really didn't expect this," says Hogan, owner and operator of Hogan's Barbershop and Art Gallery in Carbonear.

Michelle Hogan demonstrating drawing techniques on an white board. The barbershop owner has found a way to combine her love for the trade with her passion for art. (Mark Squibb/CBC)

Hogan says that she has recently had to hire an assistant to meet the demands of business and the increase of customers.

 "I just hired on a new girl.  She's very ambitious and eager to learn... with her coming here, it's going to make business so much better and so much easier for me, and clients are going to get a lot of extra hours."

The barber shop/art shop

The barbershop, located on Irish Town Road in Carbonear in a home  Hogan purchased and renovated with her husband, also doubles as a personal art studio.

Having studied barbering at College of the North Atlantic and art at the University of Alberta, Hogan says she could not choose between a career as a barber or an artist — so she settled for both.

Four-year-old gage Harris getting a trim from Hogan at her barbershop. (Mark Squibb)

Several of her works, including paintings, drawings, photo ornaments, necklaces and carvings are sold out of her barber shop.

She has also begun teaching art classes out of that same building, a decision she says is reminiscent of a beloved local barber.

"Pete Sampson has been the barber of this town for fifty years, he has sent all his senior clientele to me. He has done so much to this town. He has given art classes, he has done the barbering, he has done the on-call, going from house to house. I'm trying to follow in his footsteps and he has big footsteps to follow."

"When it comes to art classes, Pete was very good with that. It was so demanded on me as a business, that it was like 'Well, when are you going to have art classes? Pete had art classes, when are you going to do it?'"

Michelle Hogan holding a portrait she painted of Pete Sampson. (Mark Squibb)

Hogan says that the class has been a success thus far, and that parents appreciate the "all-ages approach".

"They loved that they could go for a class with their child every Sunday," said Hogan.

The new style of barbering

Though Hogan says that the traditional cuts and military hair styles will never go out of style, rapidly changing fashions mean that today's barber must learn to stay in pace with the trends by evolving their own styles and techniques.

"Keeping up with the trends is important. You have to be educating yourself all the time in this field.  There's just so much.  Styles change and you got to change with the style. When it comes to the field of barbering, it all changes, all the time."

And some of the big trends Hogan is seeing in men's hair right now?

Hair tattoos, spiked hair, man braids, beards and colours.

About the Author

Mark Squibb

Mark Squibb is a freelance journalist based in Conception Bay North.