A WIRRAL barbershop celebrated 29 years of business in the Bromborough community on Friday (April 1).
Tracey Lewis, owner of Alcatraz Barbers on Acre Lane, said the business “would not have survived” if it wasn’t for the loyalty from the “four generations” of customers that support her.
Tracey, 51, from Eastham, has been barbering since she was 14 years old and took over Alcatraz 23 years ago.
She told the Globe: “We’re currently on four generations of clients. I’ve got lads coming in who are now in their 30s with their kids who are the age that they were when I first started cutting their hair.”
As well as having a loyal client base, Tracey said Alcatraz has always “strived” to help others in need in the community.
She said: “We’ve been involved with Autism Together and we’ve cut their clients' hair for years.
“We try and get involved as much as possible because we love being involved in supporting local people and causes.”
“If anyone comes to us needing anything I’ll do what I can to try and help. We are what I call a community barbershop.
Despite running a successful business over the years, Tracey told the Globe of the difficulties the shop has faced during challenging times.
She said: “Six barbers have opened locally around us over the last couple of years as well as recessions and the pandemic, so it’s been really hard at times.
“Covid especially has been especially difficult for us because of the way it’s changed how people think.
“People who were getting their hair cut say every eight weeks are now coming in every three to five months so there’s been a massive shift industry.”
Like many businesses, Covid has impacted how they are run but for Tracey, it hasn’t deterred her from doing what she loves most.
She said: “I absolutely love my job and my clients. I enjoy every minute of it.
“I have amazing banter with them, but I’ve also heard all kinds of stories from people suffering from depression to those with serious illnesses.
“Everyone says your hairdresser is like your therapist and it’s true in a way, it’s about helping each other.”
Speaking of Alcatraz’s anniversary Tracey described the milestone as an “absolute pleasure”.
She said: “I feel like I’ve blinked, and it’s just gone by so quickly.
“There’s been times where I’ve thought we’re going to sink but we’ve managed to swim back up.
“Everyone’s really supportive. I know I am lucky to have clients who are so loyal and keep coming back.
“It’s lovely to be involved in such a nice community.”