By Janet Stoica
WEBSTER – As she celebrates her fifth-year anniversary as owner of Clippin’ Tymes, Crystal Golden is proud of her shop, accomplishments, and clientele. A steady stream of customers entered the shop on a sunny Saturday morning as Crystal and her fellow barber and employee, Freddy Cotto, worked. They clipped, buzzed, and shaped the hair of the many men who walked through their shop’s doors. There are more than 10 waiting chairs, but the waits are not very long as most of the men’s cuts were short and sweet or, as one customer put it, “high and tight.”
Crystal smiled and chatted good-naturedly with each of her “regulars,” many of whom visit her shop every two weeks for maintenance of their high and tight close cuts. Freddy worked non-stop as well, with many of his customers having similar styles. As soon as one customer left the shop, two more entered. Business was brisk and constant.
“I don’t really know what else I’d ever do besides be a barber,” said Crystal, “I never thought I’d say that I legit love my job. I look forward to coming to work each day and it’s great to be your own boss.” Obviously, Crystal has found a job that is rare and elusive to many of us--a job that is not a job as long as you truly enjoy what you do and one which you can’t wait to get to. She
practices her craft with precision and speed that appear to be flawless. Every customer seemed genuinely pleased with their styling results and were then on their way out the door. Most customers are walk-ins but Crystal will also make appointments.
Crystal has wanted to be a hair stylist since she was five years old. “My mom Donna’s hairdresser was a great influence on me,” said Crystal. “I used to go with my mom to the salon when she had her hair done. When I entered hairdressing school, I had to take a turn at the barbering chair and that’s when I fell in love with barbering. I have both my hairdressing license and barbering license. The differences between the two forms of education is that barbering involves shaving techniques and shorter styles for men. My older customers are great, they’re so easy to talk to. We smile and laugh together.”
Ms. Golden appreciates customers of all ages, however. When little girls come in with their moms and brothers for the brother’s haircut, sometimes little sister wants a cut and style too and that’s no problem. Many times mom will also ask for a trim if there is time available. Recently, when Webster had its downtown Trick or Treat fest, the Main Street was filled with little ones showing off their Hallowe’en costumes and visiting merchants for candy treats. “I must’ve given out well over 1,000 pieces of candy,” said Crystal, “it was great to see Main Street so busy with lots of activity. Just a great event!”
As Ms. Golden clipped and trimmed a style for Chris Daggett, she concentrated keenly on making his cut very precise, using several of the four different clippers she has on hand. She worked carefully and meticulously with a perfect end result. “I started coming here with my son when he was four years old,” said Chris, “now he’s 15 and we’re still steady customers.”
Freddy Cotto is the shop’s expert Graff Etch hair pattern designer. “I’ve done Patriots’ logos and lots of sport teams’ logos as well as just about any design you can think of. I’ll pre-sketch the design the customer wants, use my trimmers and specialty edgers, and then fill in the colors the customer wants for their graphic.” The pencils are waterproof, sweat proof, but also non-permanent. So if you’re in the mood for something different for a day or a week, making an appointment with Freddy is well worth it. His free-hand work is amazing. He is quite the artist.
The WWE’s professional wrestler Kenny Dykstra has his cuts done with Crystal and the most unusual cut she’s ever styled for a customer is a mullet. She says the rat tail is making a comeback too.
Seniors’ haircuts are priced at $9; Nichols’ students $11; Children $10 and under. Crystal also visits nursing homes to assist with cuts for those who are unable to make it to her shop. “If someone truly can’t get out, I will visit them at home,” Crystal said. Clippin’ Tymes is at 127 Main Street in Webster. Phone: (508) 943-1160. Hours are Tues/Wed/Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.