The Press Newspaper
Lauri Perkins has been a barber for about 20 years, which is about two decades longer than her mother, Nancy Lohberger, figured would happen.
"When I first wanted to cut hair, my mom said, 'You're too short,' " said the five-foot Perkins, who found a way to overcome her lack of height on the job. “I just stand on my box. Some people pick on me when I stand on my box, but we all take it in good humor."
On Feb. 20, Perkins will celebrate her fifth year as owner of The Village Barber Shop, located at 119 W. Main St., in Woodville.
She bought the business from long-time owner Paul Hammer, 72, who still works at the barber shop with Perkins and Hammer's brother, Phil, 68. Paul has been cutting hair for 53 years, while Phil will celebrate his 50th year as a barber in April.
Perkins, 40, was a barber at Classic Style Barber Shop in the Woodville Mall for about 15 years before deciding to take the leap into owning her own business.
"There was a customer who came into my previous employer who came in here," she said. "He knew the shop was for sale and he had told me about it. I told him I'm not interested. As time progressed I thought, that's not a bad idea.
"I asked my husband, Larry, and he was all right with it. My dad, Jack, said, 'No, you don't want to be in business for yourself.' He used to have a garage and gas station. I never really asked him why he didn't think it was a good idea."
Perkins, who was trained as a barber at Ohio State Barber College in downtown Toledo, said she always wanted to cut hair.
"I still enjoy it," she said. "The people are great and they just make it an enjoyable day every day."
She said she does about 15-20 haircuts a day, and sometimes as many as 30 on a busy Saturday. Perkins added that she didn't have any doubt that her business would last this long.
"I had to make it work. I have to pay for the building," she chuckled. "I was nervous about coming in here. There were three men, and then all of a sudden I come in here. I was worried about being accepted, but it went very well. Everyone welcomed me."
The third barber at The Village Barber Shop five years ago was Paul Hammer's older brother, Ray.
Ray Hammer, who was fighting a bad back, worked at the barber shop for about three weeks after Perkins bought the business but then decided to retire at age 75.
The Village Barber Shop offers $11 men's haircuts (women are also welcome) and a shave around the ears with a straight razor.
"A lot of people really enjoy that," Perkins said.
The shop's hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Thursday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Perkins said she still enjoys going to work every day "because of the people."
"It's more the people than the haircut," she said. "It's just like going home."
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