Wholesome Barbershop Sign Vows 'Nobody Will Be Turned Away' If Can't Pay
A barbershop in Maine has been applauded after one happy customer took a picture of the sign advertising its unique pricing structure.
A Little Off The Top, on 182 Bath Road, Brunswick, went viral after a snapshot was shared to Reddit by U/FloridaMan32225 showcasing the shop's "pay what you can afford" approach to haircuts.
Written on a sandwich board underneath the standard prices of regular haircuts, crewcuts and beard trims was a message that reads "If this creates a hardship for you, please let me know."
"Nobody will be turned away for lack of ability to pay," the board states. "I'll work with you."
The gesture comes as people across America face up to increases in the cost of living.
In November, the Consumer Price Index, which measures the average price of consumer goods and services like food and fuel, reported a 0.1 percent increase which came as part of a 7.1 percent rise over the previous 12 months.
While the latest figures have yet to be released, there is little to suggest a positive swing in these numbers with many economists instead predicting an imminent recession in the U.S.
As many people are already feeling the bite of market forces, Lynn Cressey, owner of A Little Off The Top, was determined to do her bit to help the community she works and lives in.
Cressey has been through her fair share of hardship already. Not only was her one-chair barbershop impacted by the pandemic but in the past few years she also lost her father and husband. Yet somehow the business that she first established in 2007 survived thanks to the support of her customers.
"My clients were a great support for me," Cressey told Newsweek. "They called me to check on me when my dad died and then when my husband died and when I got COVID. They helped me pay rent and keep going. They are great."
So, with many struggling to make ends meet, Cressey was determined to "pay it forward" by offering a solution to those who might otherwise not have been able to afford a haircut.
"My philosophy is that I am a part of this community and we are all in this together," she said. "With all that's going on in the world—fuel costs rising, food prices going up—it's outrageous and it's hell on all of us. I want to be part of the solution not to add to people's despair."
"Many are struggling to feed their families and heat their homes," she added. "If I can help someone look and feel better I'll help as much as I can. It takes minimal time for me to lift someone's spirits."
Cressey said she would rather people use the money they would have spent on a haircut on food, gas or medical care. "I see families with multiple kids in need of haircuts," she said. "That's a lot of your fixed income."
Her efforts to "pay it forward" caught the eye on social media, earning over 20,000 upvotes on Reddit. Several users were quick to praise the business owner for helping those struggling for money but Cressey is keen to note many of her regulars often chip in to pay for other visitor's haircuts and she would encourage anyone else to do the same.
"Be kind," Cressey said. "If someone seems like they're in need even if they deny it, help them out. Help them keep their dignity. You just know in your heart you're doing the right thing."
A mom of nine adult kids with 38 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, Cressey said her family has always supported one another and tries to do the same for those around them.
"My mom and dad always helped others in need and raised 6 kids to be our best and do our best," she said. "I'm not the best at what I do but I do my best to help when someone needs it. I do this because just five minutes spent cutting someone's hair can make a difference."