My name is Shelly, I am the Owner and Head Barber of Refuge Barbershop. I have been a licensed Barber since 1996. I am so grateful to still love what I do after all of these years.
Some years ago, while searching for a new barbershop home for myself and my clients... I soon realized that gone were the days of the simple and inexpensive "chair rental". All of the barbershops in Portland were charging a hefty percentage of a barber's income. I was a newly divorced, single mom... I needed to be able to support us on my own. At that time a small shop space opened up for rent, not far away and the rent was considerably less than the 40% in commission I was currently paying. Although I was very grateful for my time at the old shop, I felt a bit out of sorts with the general vibe growing there.
First of all, I did not want to open my own shop. I have no ego or pride wrapped up with it. It is a place to stand and do what I DO love and DOES give me a great amount of satisfaction and creativity... Barbering.
I wanted a comfortable shop for the easy going, the normals, the weirdos, the rejects, the non conformers, the nerds, the families, the women with short haircuts, the men with long haircuts, the non binary, the people with the hardest hair to cut... And, I wanted to create a sanctuary for myself and for the barbers that were tired of the huge egos, "instagram fame" obsessed and hipster vibe shops... Barbers who just wanted to focus on cutting hair at top quality and keep their happy clients.