HAMLET – No, it’s not Mayberry and the barber shop is not Floyd’s, but for those who are in need of a haircut, then Fred’s Barber Shop and Salon is the stop to make.
If their business traffic is any indicator as to just how good Angela Butler and her staff are, then whatever awards are bestowed upon services related to barbering must be on the way to 34 West Hamlet Avenue.
Parking was at a premium in front of her establishment and heads were patiently awaiting their turns as all five chairs (three for barbering and two for styling) were occupied with soon-to-be customers.
Butler, who is the owner, was herself hard at work, as were four of her compatriots (two other barbers and two stylists), but no one was rushed and everyone seemed content as it was “just another day at the office” for Fred’s Barber Shop personnel.
“We have a great team of barbers and stylists,” Butler said, emphasizing that her staff make Fred’s successful. “We have a total of eight employees, both full and part-time, so we can keep business flowing without much of a wait, no matter what service is needed.”
And services are indeed abundant and varied at Fred’s. Originally confined to a relatively small area when opened in 2014, Butler was soon able to purchase the adjacent location this past June. This expansion enabled her to effectively divide the barbering from the styling services and even offer two separate entrances (“Girlies to the Right and Burlies to the Left”), depending on the needs of the clientele.
It would seem that Fred’s offers something for everyone, regardless of gender or age.
“We have customers as old as 90 and as young as you can imagine,” Butler noted.
Specials are offered (e.g., manicure and pedicure services are currently discounted through the end of October, etc.) and scheduling is very flexible (i.e., appointments, while recommended, are not necessary). All types of preferences for different cuts and styles are accommodated, as are requests for mustache and beard trims.
So why the name of “Fred’s” and what is the significance of such?
“It’s named in honor of my dad, James Fredrick Strickland,” Butler noted with a respectful tone.
One would have to assume that he is proud of his little girl as well as the fact that she chose his name for her establishment.
A coincidental connection exists between Butler’s newfound endeavor and her former career. While working as a labor and delivery nurse at Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham, she experienced a bit of an epiphany when taking her son in for a haircut.
“I was stressed at the hospital and thought that barbering would be something that I could learn and enjoy,” she explained.
Sure enough, Angela completed her barber training and soon opened her shop in Hamlet. The “irony,” of course, is that barbering was considered a “medical function” for centuries. Indeed, the red, white and blue colors of the iconic barber pole are only patriotic by way of serendipity; the original significance – since barbers were then the equivalent of our doctors and dentists of today – was, according to one version of history, related to red arterial blood, white bandages and blue venous blood in the veins.
So whether male or female, old or young, bushy or bald, everyone can find something at Fred’s to make them look and feel much better on the way out than they did on the way in!
Fred’s Barber Shop and Styling Salon is located in Hamlet at 34 West Hamlet Avenue. They can be contacted at 910-331-0404 or FredsCityBarberShop@Yahoo.com.