Sally Laffey’s business boasts hardwood basketball-court floors, lockers and a hall of fame, but the Cape May Court House resident doesn’t own a gymnasium.
Laffey owns Sally’s Barber Shop — a themed salon where sports and clients steal the show.
For 27 years, Laffey worked for another barber. She had always wanted to operate her own shop, a dream she finally realized about two years ago.
“It was my son’s idea,” Laffey said of the sports theme. “When I decided to open the shop, I thought I had all my ducks in a row, and he came up with the idea of having a sports-themed shop.”
Haircutting stations are equipped with lockers, and each client’s sports photo on the wall of fame is “autographed.”
Sally’s Barber Shop has a staff of four, including Laffey; her son, Michael Laffey Jr.; her sister-in-law, Donna; and a part-time employee.
Not only is Sally’s sports-themed, it’s almost entirely operated by family, which, in part, is what makes the business successful, Laffey said.
“I was born and raised right here in Cape May Court House. I’ve been in the business for 30 years,” she said. “Just being a local face and family, I just think that has a lot to do with it.”
According to the Conway Center for Family Business, in Ohio, family-owned firms comprise 80 percent to 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America, while Gaebler.com reported in June that over the past five years, woman-owned family businesses have increased by 37 percent.
Laffey brought customers with her from her previous shop, which helped Sally’s when it opened in a sluggish economy. Likewise, her family helped her turn her shop’s space into a sports-lover’s dream.
Laffey’s advise to aspiring entrepreneurs is to lean on family when needed.
“It’s scary to go out on your own, but it’s something that I always wanted to do,” she said. “With the help of family and friends and their support, you can do just about anything.”
The clientele of Sally’s Barber Shop is predominately males from babies to seniors, Laffey said.
“People have been with me since the day I started cutting hair back in 1985,” she said, “and I’ve probably cut over four generations in a family. I gave kids their first haircuts, and now I’m cutting their kids’ hair.”
As of now, Laffey said, the business is growing every day. She’s considered adding a station, but she’s particular about whom she hires and doesn’t care to rush clients through appointments. So right now, she’s going to keep things how they are.
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