Childhood Friends Come Together to Open Avenue Barber Shop
A Touch of Sydney opened about a month ago.
It took three childhood friends reuniting to make a new barber shop pop up on Germantown Avenue.
A Touch of Sydney took over the former Johnson's Barber Shop space about a month ago after it had been vacant for about a year.
Rick Gaskin, Rasheed Williams and Steve Lawrence all grew up together on nearby Sydney Street. Gaskin opened up a barber shop on Stenton Avenue, while Lawrence continued to cut hair and Williams became a massage therapist.
But the three reconnected recently through mutual friends and Facebook. Some of Gaskin's customers had told him about Johnson's becoming vacant after the owner died, and so he began looking into opening a shop with his old friends.
The vision became reality about a month ago. It's a barber shop, and Williams offers massage therapy in the back as well.
Gaskin admitted it took him some time to get used to the idea of opening up a new shop.
"I didn't fall in love with it right away," he said.
After gutting the place, though, it looks renovated and new. Gaskin said he's optimistic about the shop's future, and with a little more marketing, he hopes it can begin to see even more business.
To that end, he's offering a variety of deals right now. He's giving out $10 for high schoolers and is planning on offering a father and son special for children under the age of 12 for $20 for both cuts. (People above the age of 13 with fathers cost $25.) There will be $8 cuts for people under the age of 12.
Gaskin and Williams also see themselves as community ambassadors. The two hire young children from around the community and give them jobs sweeping up the floors and doing other tasks in the shop.
But Gaskin won't retain their services if they get bad grades. He requires them to show him their report cards, and they can still have their jobs if they keep the grades above a certain level.
He said he's looking to hire senior citizens to put extra money in their pockets as well.
For now, the businessmen are happy to be back together and working.
"It's being back home," Gaskin said.
A Touch of Sydney, 7128 Germantown Ave. Call 215-681-6690 for massages, email email@example.com for haircuts. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. through 7 p.m. Saturday.