ROCKINGHAM — Holding a pair of scissors much larger than the ones he’s used to, barber Daniel Sweatt cut the ceremonial red ribbon Monday afternoon outside his new shop, Headlines Studio, at 234 East Franklin Street.
Sweatt, 22, attended the Alamance Barber Institute in Burlington and has been cutting professionally for two years. He started at Merle Norman right out of barber school, but left soon after to Hamlet, where he cut hair at Fred’s City Barbershop. Four months later, he made the move back to Richmond Plaza.
The new business owner said while working at Merle Norman that as soon as an opportunity came up for him to branch out, he would take it, and county and city officials, Richmond County Chamber of Commerce members and other business owners are glad he did.
“I’ve been a downtown Rockingham business (owner) for 41 years,” Mayor and Helm’s Jewelers owner Steve Morris said to Sweatt. “I had enough hair to cut when I started here. Things do change as we go along. It’s a great place to be in business. We’ve opened six new properties downtown in the last six months or this year, and that’s very, very exciting. The retail business is offering a lot for consumers these days, and we’re proud of you investing in the community.”
Chamber President Emily Tucker said she could tell by the turnout Monday that customers will be very excited about the investment Sweatt and his crew have made in downtown Rockingham.
“We’ve been doing the ribbon cutting hop here it seems like, and this is just another testimony to the progress that Richmond County and the City of Rockingham is making,” she said.
Richmond County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kenneth Robinette remarked how proud he is of the young entrepreneurs for coming back to Rockingham, taking a leap of faith and starting a business.
“Y’all could go anywhere you want, but you chose to come back here, make a living here, a business here, providing a service for the citizens of Richmond County, especially in downtown Rockingham,” he said. “And again, I want to commend the mayor, the city council of Rockingham because Rockingham is definitely on the move here. It’s basically completely transformed here. I’m so excited about all these young folks here, coming back here and investing in Richmond County and downtown Rockingham.”
Sweatt said this has been his dream since day one of becoming a professional barber and hair stylist.
“I knew that one day I wanted to start my own salon,” he said. “I said, ‘It’s time.’ I’ve got some great stylists. I appreciate everyone for putting this together. It’s just a big opportunity, and we’re gonna make it to the top and stay at the top. Keep it number one.”
Headlines Studio is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and is closed on Sunday and Monday. To make an appointment, call 910-434-8284.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.