By Melonie Flomer, Richmond County Daily Journal
Published November 6, 2014
Photos by Melonie Flomer, Richmond County Daily Journal
HAMLET -- Fred's City Barber Shop brings the "dying art" of barbering to downtown Hamlet in style today as owner Angela Butler and the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce celebrate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m.
Butler named the shop after her father, whose middle name is Frederick.
"I didn't want a female name for a traditional barber shop," Butler said. "He helped me build it and get everything ready, so it just seemed like the right thing to do."
Barbering, Butler said, has fascinated her since she was a child.
"I remember the barber shop over on Skyline Drive in Rockingham being the only one around," she said. "There would just be lines and lines of people waiting. I was a nurse for the last 15 years, but when FirstHealth (of Rockingham) closed the labor and delivery unit, I was out of a job. I worked in a temporary position for a doctor close by there, but when that ran out, I went for my backup plan."
Butler, while still working as a nurse, was enrolled in the barber college at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford to study her passion in a serious way.
"Central is the only community college in the system with a barbering program," Butler said. "And I graduated it with a diploma -- the highest credential you can get in the barbering profession. I think I was the first person from there to graduate with that."
Barbering, Butler explained, is very different from cosmetology. She believes her experience as a nurse helped her to grasp the complexities of the art.
"You have to learn all the muscles of the face and neck," she said. "It's not just cutting hair. We are licensed to do the straight-razor shave that most places don't offer."
The shop, located on Hamlet Avenue beside Razzle Dazzle, specializes in traditional gentlemen's grooming and seeks to provide excellent service in a relaxing atmosphere.
"I know it's unconventional to have a female barber," Butler said. "But I wanted to open this old-fashioned barber shop because Hamlet needed one...The art of barbering is kind of a dying art. I think men have been forced to look to other places for their services, like women's salons. We wanted to make a place for them to not have to sit around looking at leopard print curtains and things. What was I going to do? Wait for a guy to open it up?"
During the ribbon-cutting, the shop will feature old-time music from a real barbershop quartet -- the Golf Capital Chorus from Southern Pines.
Fred's is having an ongoing giveaway from now through Dec. 19. Anyone who comes in for a trim or a shave between now and then will be entered to win a Yeti cooler.
Fred's City Barber Shop is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 8:30 to 2 on Saturdays. Appointments are accepted, but walk-ins are always welcome. And so are women.
"We specialize in barbering for men, but we can also do women's hair," Butler said. "And for younger guys, I try to keep on top of all the trending hairstyles. Hard parts, pompadours and traditional."
To make an appointment, call Fred's City Barber Shop at 910-331-0404.
Reach Richmond County Daily Journal reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @melonieflomer.
Angela Butler, owner of Fred's City Barber Shop, gives her uncle Wayne Butler a close shave.
Angela Butler and employee Daniel Sweatt stand outside the door of Fred's City Barber Shop in Hamlet.