Twenty years ago Carlyn Hartshorn moved to Arizona from Idaho to continue the family business.
A barber by trade, Hartshorn settled on a space off Mill Avenue in Tempe. However, unlike other shops where people pile into the barber for a great atmosphere of people and a cut, at Carlyn’s Barber Shop there is only one chair.
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“This is a family tradition," Hartshorn said. "Although conventional wisdom is more chairs, more money, I have one chair to focus on my client with less overhead."
She follows the footsteps of her grandfather, father, brothers and several other family members of having a one-chair barbershop. Tucked back into an area called the “Shops at Mill,” her shop is small with only enough room for the barber, client and someone waiting.
However make no mistake about it, Hartshorn has quite the following with many people calling her a “Tempe Institution.”
“The best part about being off Mill Avenue is being able to cut hair for an electric clientele from students, to snowbirds to visitors,” Hartshorn said.
Although it might be unusual to see a female barber, Hartshorn said it was inevitable considering it’s the family trade.
Her clients seem to love the single barber attention and cut. Hartshorn has a five-star rating on Yelp.
“It's an honor and sign of the times that people now rate me on social media,” according to Hartshorn.
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