Experienced female barber moves into busy shopping hub
A FEMALE barber with more than 12 years' experience has opened her first business in one of Ipswich's booming suburbs.
Renee Houston was so impressed by the recent $80 million expansion to the Karalee Shopping Village she signed a five year lease.
Her business, Houston and Co Barber Shop, opened this month.
"When I first heard of Karalee, my first thought was there's not a lot there. But when I saw the plans (for the expansion) and saw what businesses were going in, I knew I wanted to be amongst that," Mrs Houston said.
"Karalee is a growth area, and it's also a good thoroughfare for other areas as well, being so close to the highway.
"I was working at a barber shop in Kenmore and I saw a real need for this area. There were no barber shops between Kenmore and Karalee.
"I saw an opportunity for customers from Mt Crosby, Karalee and Chuwar. This gives people another option, rather than them having to travel too far for a haircut."
Mrs Houston said the community had embraced the business since opening on September 14.
"It's been going great guns. There has been so much support, excitement, positivity and good clients," she said.
"We have people lining up all day which is a good feeling. It's almost been too busy.
"I would say most of my customers are young families and blue collared workers.
"So many people have been popping their head in and saying hello and welcoming me to the neighbourhood.
"I'm really excited to be part of this wonderful community."
Mrs Houston worked as a hairdresser for a number of years before transitioning to a barber shop.
"I was 21 when I first started working at a barbershop in Kenmore. I walked in to do a trial and ended up staying all day," she said.
"One of my first customers asked me 'do you even know how to cut hair' and I said 'well I'm here now, let's give it a go'.
"To be completely honest, I think I am a better cutter now then when I was a ladies' hairdresser."
Mrs Houston is running the Karalee business by herself, but has a few helpers who come in and help.
"At the moment it's just myself, but I do have people who come in and give me a hand," she said.
"At the moment it's a little bit of shifting with staff, because we aren't sure what is going to happen just yet.
"But from what I am seeing at the moment, it seems like it is going to be really busy."
Having signed a five year lease, Mrs Houston said her goal was "to see four chairs filled every day, to see people chatting, laughing and having an environment where people want to be".
Houston and Co Barber Shop is located at the Karalee Shopping Village near Coles.
Phone 3281 0959 or search them on Facebook.