Press "Enter" to skip to content

Burd’s keeps it in the family after 37 Years; Iconic Franklin barber introduces new talent and a new generation

Franklin, N.C. – For many, the age of the personalized family barber is quickly dying as corporations take over the industry in virtually every town and every community, often ruining that time-honored relationship between hair-stylist and customer.

But not so much in Franklin.

That’s because for more than 20 years, in the same location, Burd’s Barber Shop has been a steady hand and relaxing atmosphere where a person could get a good haircut and a beard trim along with some good company.

“It’s pretty much straight forward barbering,” says owner Paul Burd. “A familiar place with a person you’ve known for years and can feel comfortable with.”

But Burd’s clients are noticing a change, and it’s probably not what they expected: a new chair and the decidedly feminine makeup of a new barber.

That’s because Allison Burd, Paul’s daughter, joined the team in late March.

And clients are quickly learning the only real change to their experience is that another barber means less wait times.

Allison is steadily warming over the clientele with her skill and customer service. And while longtime customers may temporarily start at the introduction of a new barber, they quickly learn the shop itself hasn’t changed a bit because Burd’s style, wit and skills are inherited.

A New Generation
For the 37-year-old business located on W. Palmer Ave., Allison represents the third generation Burd to step behind chair. Her grandfather, Edwin launched the business in Florida in the 1950s before Paul took it over and moved it to Franklin in 1998.

“I asked him if I could join the business, and he welcomed me. I thought it was time to step in and help my dad,” Allison said. “It’s definitely a different atmosphere for me, but I honestly love it. Barbering has always been my passion. Of course, it has a lot to do with family history.”

She earned her degree in cosmetology at Southwestern Community College, then gained valuable experience at the Great Clips near Walmart where she worked the last four years. And while she could have stayed in the corporate world, both father and daughter are delighted she chose to join the family business.

“It’s been great having Allison come in with me. It’s like stepping back in time when I came to work with my own father,” Paul said. “He was first generation; I was second and she’s third. Family operated business through and through.” Both Allison’s mom and sister also are experienced in the hair industry.

Of course, Paul will retire at some point, but not any time soon. Meanwhile, Allison’s presence has brought some changes to the business.

Women in a Men’s Barbershop?
What makes Burd’s unique in the Franklin area is it decidedly old-school male atmosphere. From the magazines in the waiting area, to the wall décor, it’s a perfect fit for Macon County hunters, boaters and car enthusiasts. It’s also the only barber shop in the region with a pool table.

But Allison’s presence now offers something new. A touch of the modern.

Longtime clients will notice the tattoos that are almost pre-requisite for her age (mid-20s), and they’ll also see that many of her younger clientele, and their hairstyles, followed her from Great Clips.

And yes, she will cut women’s hair too, though the shop isn’t set up for long hair. She’s sticking to mostly tapered and pixie cuts.

“In the old barbering industry, it was almost taboo to have women in the shop. But in the 1950s, my dad welcomed ladies that were licensed barbers. He assisted with their apprenticeships,” Paul explained. “Allison’s presence has opened up my customers eyes. While some take a second look, they’re accepting.”

Has Paul and his clientele had to change their behavior to accommodate a more feminine presence? Nope. “It’s not a wild place anyway,” Paul said.

Truth be told, in this day and age, it’s a myth that introducing a woman to a men’s barber shop would be unpopular. The Burd’s have experienced nothing but positive responses, often because customers truly appreciate the family business aspect.

To a corporation, a client is just a number where haircuts are calculated, and barbers are reprimanded for taking too much time with their clients. An experience Allison knows firsthand.

“It’s quantity over quality. I did that for four years, and it takes a toll on you. You feel on edge with the clock ticking,” she said. “It’s more relaxed here. I feel much more in my element.”

A barbershop is supposed to be that place you can come and stay a while. People should be able to take a little time out of their day and enjoy a nice sanctuary, Paul said.

“I feel i traditional barbering is beginning to get lost. You have all these different corporations (and their fine and dandy) but it leaves out that true personalized barber touch. Most people get used to their dentist and physician because the person is familiar. That’s what barber shops were originally designed for. Familiarity. You grew up with the guy from when you were three years old, then your children came to them. That’s what we’re doing here,” he added.

Allison agreed.

Burd’s Barber Shop, located 92 W. Palmer St., is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Appointments are unnecessary. For more information call 828-342-1691.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *