kTown Hall and Fading Autism Barbershop hosted Quarantine Cuts, a free haircut event on Saturday, July 11.
"People were excited to get rid of four (plus) months of hair - there was a big difference! Everyone was grateful to the barbers for their expertise and for the opportunity," said Anne Timpe, Community Director for kTown Hall.
Held from 4 to 8 p.m. at kTown Hall, barbers provided free, 45-minute haircuts to those who made appointments for the event. The space, cleaned before and after haircuts, was set up to accommodate social distancing and follow all other guidelines from the state. Masks were required to be worn. Beards were not included in the haircut.
“The inspiration for the event was seeing how everyone’s hair on Zoom calls reflected the long quarantine without haircuts,” said Timpe. “And with barbershops only recently being allowed to open, we wanted to support a local business while providing a needed service to the business community.”
kTown Hall is a coworking space, located in the old town hall building in Kutztown, offering shared workspace on a membership basis for those needing a flexible, professional office environment. One of kTown Hall’s first members is Fading Autism Barbershop.
“The most valuable aspect of our coworking space is the community and network of small businesses and members. We wanted to leverage that by giving back to the community through the services that FA Barbershop offers,” Timpe said.
The barbershop, located on Main Street in Kutztown, is owned and operated by Frankel Antoine. Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the barbershop is an LLC business with a Saturday $10 special from 4 to 7 p.m. Once a month on Sunday, the shop is closed to the public and functions as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization offering free haircuts to those diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder and other related conditions.
“Fading Autism Barbershop offers a special on Saturday afternoons,” said Antoine. “We moved over to kTown Hall for the special this weekend, and were excited to have a busy afternoon!”
The event helped those who came out for the event to tame their quarantine hair, long overgrown from not being able to get a haircut during the shutdown.
“With kTown Hall working with the business community, we know how important it is to have a good presentation, whether in person or remotely,” said Antoine. “After three months of not cutting hair, we wanted to show the community that we’re still here - and that we’re here for you. Help us help you!”
Timpe agreed, "Presentation is important, regardless of whether it's in person or a video call. Getting a haircut and having a professional appearance makes a big difference in attitude and brings back a bit of normal life. Everyone that got haircuts said they felt so much better afterward."
The barbershop and kTown Hall said they were excited to partner together in reopening.
"The haircuts were well received and most who came confirmed that it was their first haircut since the quarantine began. We were able to share information about each of our businesses and make some great new connections," said Timpe. "I personally was excited to meet new members of the community. There was a lot of talk about how we're all coping with the new normal; I felt it was optimistic as we all could share different information and ideas about how we're all dealing with it."
Since the event was co-hosted by a barbershop, Quarantine Cuts catered to men, helping eight clients. They were limited on the number of cuts they could offer due to the safety requirements, said Timpe.
“It’s been a challenge for everyone to navigate these new times,” said Timpe. “This kind of collaboration is key to helping local businesses succeed. We hope to continue to do these kinds of events in the future!”
kTown Hall offers clean, safe, socially distanced workspaces, free coffee, and a quiet environment away from the distractions of home.
“kTown Hall coworking offers an alternative to your home office or kitchen table,” Timpe said. “As the county reopens, we have seen an uptick in people interested in a change of scenery or just a quiet place away from the distractions of home. We offer socially distanced workspace, private phone booths, and individual French presses to keep you safe while optimizing your work day. And now, thanks to FA Barbershop, you can look great at the same time!”
For more information about memberships on a full or part time basis, visit kTown Hall’s website at www.ktownhall.com.
On Aug. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m., Fading Autism presents The Color of Autism: Autism Through the Eyes of the Black and Hispanic Community, featuring the founder and director Camille Proctor. Tune in to their live stream on Facebook, website, or Instagram.
For more information about Fading Autism Barbershop, visit https://www.fadingautism.org/ or call 610-509-2623.