ARLINGTON — Cutting hair allows Lori Kirkeby to indulge her artistic nature, but her no-frills service is tailored to appeal to those who might not feel at home in a beauty parlor.
"We're strictly a barbershop here," Kirkeby said of the Arlington Hairport, which opened three years ago but recently a few blocks west, to 5200 172nd St. NE, to partner with Mt. Pilchuck Ski & Sport. "No coloring, perms or chemicals. I wanted a more masculine setting for guys who don't like sitting around in a salon."
The Hairport is so old-school that Kirkeby is already looking to provide straight-razor facial shaves.
"It's a service that not many folks offer," Kirkeby said. "It's a nostalgic nod to the past."
What Kirkeby and fellow barber Debby Chism enjoy most about their business, though, is simply getting to know their customers.
Kirkeby first honed her skills as a barber in 1981, and is joined at her new location by Chism, who worked at the Knuckleheads Barber Shop in Lake Stevens for 20 years.
"We've been friends for 35 years, so it's fun to get to work together," Kirkeby said.
Kirkeby's career has included jobs as diverse as a distribution engineer for PUD and a city planner for Stanwood, but the longtime resident of north Snohomish County kept her license and kept practicing as a barber throughout that time.
Lynn Marks, co-owner of Mt. Pilchuck Ski & Sport, explained that she provided space for the barber shop to help draw customers to her store during the summer months.