While my husband got a haircut, I sat and talked with Rosie. She owns and operates Rosie’s Barbershop located just behind the Wells Fargo bank on Front Street. She’s been cutting his hair for longer than I can remember.
I know for a long time Rosie worked with Alvin Outlaw in Al’s Barbershop on Front Street for years, even moving with him to cut hair behind his art store across the street. Al was not just a local barber, but also a local artist and a very talented one at that. After Al passed away, Rosie continued working behind the art store.
“I’ve been with Alvin since 1998,” she said of her former colleague.
“Have you always been with Al,” I asked.
Rosie shook her head no and answered, “No, not always. I took cosmetology as an elective in high school. When I graduated, I worked at Master Cuts up at the mall. Al suggested I work with him and he would sponsor me for barbering. After a few years, I went and took my state board exams and officially became a barber.”
“Is there a difference between being a cosmetologist and a barber?”
“Oh yes, definitely,” she answered.
Preparing to take notes, I asked, “What is the difference?”
“Well, barbers don’t use chemicals,” Rosie explained. With a nod towards her mirrored counter she added, “I don’t even have a shampoo bowl. I just cut hair and that is all I do.”
As a couple more clients came in, I said, “You must enjoy what you’re doing because you’re still doing it all these years later.”
Rosie confirms with a nod of her. “I didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. I really wanted to be a nurse and just happened upon haircutting. As I said, I only took it in high school as an elective just to have something to do.”
I noticed that while we talked, each new client came in and climbed into her barber’s chair never told her what they wanted. Rosie would put the apron over them and proceed to snip away without being told anything.
“You must know all of your clients,” I said as a young boy took his place in Rosie’s chair.
“Yeah, I do. I have a lot of old clients,” she explained. “Not old as in age, but old because they’ve been with me for a long time.”
“I bet many followed you from place to place.”
Another nod of the head as she responds, “When I moved into my own shop across from Al’s, many did follow me. I’ve been here in this shop behind Wells Fargo since 9/11/2014, a little over a year now. I really enjoy what I do, too.”
In spite of recent illnesses and surgeries, Rosie has been able to do well with her shop. She charges $12 for a standard haircut and offers a $10 rate to firemen, police officers and EMS attendants.
If you’re looking for a quick haircut, easy rates, or maybe just something with a downhome friendly atmosphere, check in on Rosie. You’ll find all of your barbering needs met there.
Rosie, it’s been a pleasure knowing you. You are a wonderful Georgetonian and a fine person to know. Thank you for allowing me to add you to my ever-growing list of Meet Georgetown stories. See you soon!