When I owned and operated the Konnoak Barber Shop from 1998-2005, Ms. Fran Daniel with the Journal was Kind and Gracious enough to feature my story on the front page of the business section, on a Monday. While I have moved to a more accessible and centralized location for my clientele, my story and dedication to the Barbering profession remains the Same!

    WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL

Copyright (c) 1999, Piedmont Publishing Company, Inc.

 DATE: Monday, October 11, 1999     EDITION: CITY      SECTION: B   PAGE:  1 

       JOB IS A SNIP     

SOURCE: By Fran Daniel JOURNAL BUSINESS REPORTER

TO KEEP TRADITION ALIVE, BARBER PUTS THE SPIN BACK INTO COLORFUL POLE AND DECORATES HIS SHOP WITH OLD-STYLE EQUIPMENT

MODERN STYLES PROVIDE A BALANCE FOR BUSINESS 

You won't find customers sitting around playing checkers at Konnoak Barber Shop. Still, in a time when the number of traditional barbershops is dwindling, Tomes has found other ways to keep their memory alive in Winston-Salem.                      He recently restored the shop's original red, white and blue barber pole, which was attached to the shop's red brick facade, beside the front door. The pole's revolving mechanism hadn't worked for at least 20 years.                                  After the pole was restored, Tomes said he decided to place it higher on his shop at15 East Clemmonsville Road.                  Now drivers have a better view of the pole as they enter the Clemmonsville Road and Main Street intersection.              "I'd say we had a dozen new customers the first week it was up and running from people just driving by and seeing it," Tomes said.                                                       Tomes, who has been in the barber and beauty industry for 15 years, is the third owner and 40th barber of Konnoak Barber Shop, which Ralph Tucker opened in 1953.                             "At one point they had five barbers in here, two shoeshine guys and a pay phone on the back wall," Tomes said. "There is still a shower stall back in the bathroom."                          Tomes bought the business last October from Leselle Topping and began remodeling the old shop with a barber and Western motif, keeping the old-fashioned theme while adding a more modern look.                                                        Tomes said he plans to add a few more features to the shop, such as replacing the straight-back chairs for seating with church pews, but for the most part he has finished his remodeling.       Inside the shop, customers can see a variety of memorabilia. Old hair-tonic and shampoo products in their original glass bottles are neatly lined up along Tomes' work counter.

There are several antique barber chairs, including one of the shop's original chairs and a chair manufactured by the Theo-Kochs Co. in 1910. For the Western theme, Tomes uses horseshoe art and horse and cowboy paintings.                                 Tomes, who graduated from Winston-Salem Barber College, started his career in the beauty profession, working as chemical specialist for Sabastian International and Goldwell International. Before opening his own barbershop, he worked for seven years as a barber at High Point Barber Shop.He married last year, moved to Kernersville and bought Konnoak Barber Shop.     He said he likes doing the traditional hair cuts, including military cuts, but he also does highlights and other modern styles, which draw in younger customers.                     Tomes isn't sure how he developed his fascination with the old-fashioned barber shop.He recalled his earliest memory of entering a barber shop.                                      Tomes was 4 and growing up in Chicago when his mother took him for his first haircut to an old-fashioned barbershop that had a barber pole. Tomes had to sit on a booster seat in a barber chair as the barber cut his hair.                                    "He was an old-school barber, and he'd sit there and tease me about taking me home with him," he said. "I remember being mortified that my mom was going to leave me with this guy."    The barber ended the session by giving Tomes a sucker.      Today, Tomes makes first haircut certificates available to young men upon request."Cameras are welcome," he said.            

END

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