CUTTING EDGE: Quirky barber brings funk back to Skinner St
MOVING to Grafton 12 months ago, Megan Glass made an immediate mark on the town and community with her new business Get Chopped.
The barber shop at 13/15 Skinner St forms part of an eclectic mix of stores helping to create a vibrant, quaint character to the historic shopping precinct.
This week The Daily Examiner decided to #takeawalkonthesouthside to meet the business owners frustrated by a recent crime spree and fighting back against the misconceptions of South Grafton.
Our readers soon joined the discussion on Facebook.
Lynette Eggins: "Skinner street is alive! It's great to see the bustling business and rejuvenated shop fronts. Being able to shop at locally owned businesses is a big plus - love it!"
Shirley Henderson: "Hopefully people start to realise how awesome Skinner Street shops are." Carly Mill: Love 'South Main St'! Everyone's super friendly. It's a bit of a funky precinct now." Paddy Stanton: "Take a walk on the wild side! Bugger the secrets out ... pre-hipster street." Belinda Johnston: "I love the artisan vibe." Jock McNamara: "Told you it was the place to be."
Get Chopped in particular was identified as one of the new businesses which epitomised the expanding culture of Skinner St.
Amy Patricia Byrnes gave a glowering endorsement in her appraisal of the business.
"For the first time in a long time I went to Skinner St, South Grafton to take my kids for a haircut at Get Chopped," she said.
"This is such a funky store with vintage furniture for sale, unique clothing and the wonderful Meg who does a mean 'chop'.
"Get Chopped has brought the 'funk' back to the South Grafton shopping precinct and brought it back to my weekly shopping destination."
Ms Glass started her training as a barber in Sydney where she opened her own shop after finding it difficult to find full-time employment, before relocating to Grafton.
"I'm self-taught. I guess I'm a creative artist-type barber," she said.
"Cutting hair is very simple; it's not rocket science.
But she said there is a knack to art of barbering.
"To be a good barber you need to be able to feel and you can't teach feel," she said. "If I feel someone's head or I'm going to cut someone's hair, I want to feel the movement, that natural fall. You can't teach that.
"Being artistic and creative is why I don't chop like anyone else."
But Ms Glass said cutting people's hair is only part of why her business is successful.
"That's 10% of my business, 90% of my business is customer service.
"That's what makes a good barber, or what's good in business ... it brings people back to the town, it brings people back to the business."
Ms Glass moved to the Clarence Valley because of the attractive lifestyle opportunities for her family.
"I came to Grafton for my son with his schooling. He has autism and the schooling at Grafton High School is fabulous for his needs," she said.
"I chose Grafton because of the price of the housing. You could buy a beautiful historic house for a very reasonable price. I just thought it was a great country town that has a lot of offer."
Last year Ms Glass trained several local boys to help expand their opportunities.
"Those I trained last year, I was hoping to get them a statement of attainment in barbering so they could open up their own barber shop," she said.
The Barbering Statement of Attainment is available now at Grafton TAFE. Students can start any time. For more information on the course visit www.northcoasttafe.edu.au.