Courageous, Resourceful, Determined
Congratulations to Master Barber Alfie Powell, owner of ALFIE’S MASTER BARBER SPA at Salon Plaza Laurel. As you’ll see in this inspiring story, her life truly reflects courage, independence and determination:
Meet Alfie, Salon Plaza’s Member of the Month
When I was a self-employed hairstylist, I survived four stokes and a heart transplant. Due to a combination of genetic factors and family-related stress, I gradually lost use of my heart – one valve closed, then another. Meaning, my heart could no longer pump blood properly.
The resulting strokes left me partially paralyzed in my right hand, putting an end to my career as a hairstylist. I was afraid I’d never be able to work independently again.
Then a great miracle happened! I discovered with clippers I only needed one hand. Lucky for me, the woman barber who taught me to cut was left-handed.
“Alfie never cuts my son when she gives him a shape up.” ~ Ronna
How Getting a New Heart Changed Me
My donor was 15-year-old Melody Boyd. At only 5’2”, I was tiny enough to receive her heart. Our blood types matched, and the size was right. If we had stood side-by-side, we would have been the same height.
Before Melody, I never liked chocolate. Now I could eat a whole sleeve of chocolate chip cookies. What’s more, I had never been a risk taker until after my heart transplant. Even though my doctor warned me not to do anything crazy or dangerous, one day when I was out walking I saw a swing –
…a BUNGEE swing! Imagine that, me who never did anything wild, jumped on a bungee swing as if it were normal. Melody must have been a free-spirited girl. And now I’ve studied to get my motorcycle license.
“I ride pass a thousand barbershops because I know Alfie never over books, she keeps our appointment professional, and I enjoy the conversation….” ~ Damon Griffin
Serving Both Men and Women
Women like coming to me because I give them feminine cuts combined with color – they don’t go out looking like men. Another quality that sets me apart from other barbers is that, being female, I listen to what you want your hair to look like. And I’ll honestly let you know whether or not I can do what you are asking for.
Here’s a good example – one woman came in and said she wanted her sideburns to blend in with her hair. But I didn’t see any sideburns! She might have had them when she was younger, but no longer. I told her, “You’re giving me instructions on what isn’t there.”
The best I could do was to cut her hair with layers. You see, there has to be a dialogue between my guest and myself. We have to come to an understanding before we can go any further.
“I have followed Alfie for over seven years because I stick with what works… Alfie works for me.” ~ Mike
What Men Appreciate
With each guest I take my time, one-at-a-time. Men really appreciate this, as I’m not hurrying them out the door for the next client. Being detail-oriented, I make their corners crisp and get all the hair off their face. This get me lots of referrals.
“I like the full treatment, my haircut, razor line-up, razor beard line-up, and jazz music playing in background. I come, in fall asleep, and the next thing I know, I am done. There’s privacy with no rift raft.” ~ Marcus
When I graduated from high school, there was no money in my college fund. To put myself through college, at age 19 I became a hairstylist. Determined to complete my college degree, I’ve been in and out of college ever sense. Now that my prerequisites are out of the way, I will major in English and fashion merchandise.
My Plan for the Future
When my mom died in March, it was still snowing. I wanted to invest my inheritance so that my money could make money. That’s why I’m launching “Big Girl Thermal Underwear”.
For anyone over size 6, thermal long underwear doesn’t fit properly. Having being sewing since I was 14, I designed something warm that actually fits. I’m bringing my patented designs to a clothing manufacturer to make them now. Once I’m sure they fit the larger sizes, I can order more.
Today is the launch of my first INPEX trade show for my line of fashion thermal underwear!!!
Every June in Pittsburgh, INPEX provides a forum for inventors like me to exhibit their patented products and pitch their ideas with companies interested in licensing, marketing or manufacturing new products. You can see all the excitement at INPEX with this video.
Advice to Barbers Who Want Their Own Shop
What I really like about Salon Plaza vs. working in someone else’s barbershop is that I never have to deal with coworkers. In my own studio salon I feel REALLY SAFE and enjoy peace of mind.
“You broke away from the traditional barbershop. I like the privacy – this is really nice. I will be back.” ~ Fred
To discover more about running your barbershop or spa out of a Salon Plaza Studio, request a tour –
To market myself, I paid for a big ad outside of Salon Plaza, which brings in a few clients. Sometimes I’ll pass out fliers. What’s tricky about this is that you can’t be in two places at one time, and passing out fliers can drain you of your energy.
Even better, I have a solid referral program: after 3 people you’ve recommend come in for services, you get one free cut.
“I know barbers in DC, Rockville, Rigg Rd. But Alfie is the only barber who text me cute reminders that it is time for another hair cut. I like her professionalism and her approach to business.” ~ Ronald Ford