The best cut in the Classic City comes from a secluded corner loft on College Ave, from the "office" of Chuck McCord. The barbershop, Pageman (located inside Pageboy Salon), feels like jumping into a time machine to the kind of spot your grandfather might've gotten his trims. Thanks to Chuck's love of his craft, Pageman has become the top spot for anything from a quick clean up, to a full service cut, beard conditioning and straight razor shave.
We caught up with Chuck, the head barber, and had him pull some of his favorite pieces in the shop. We headed to his spot behind the chair and talked with him about what style means to him, what drew him to barbering, and how being "kempt" can change the way people view you.
Kempt: How long have you been working at Pageman?
Chuck: It’s almost 2 years now - I’ve been here since June of 2019! Before that I was in Oklahoma, actually. I proposed to my high school sweetheart in 2018, and we’re both from Center TN/Nashville so we moved out here to be closer to home and family.
K: How did you get started as a barber?
C: My grandfather was a barber. So I grew up in a barber shop. When I was 8 or 9 years old, I would go to the barber shop and as soon as I would get there… “pick up a broom, grab these towels”. So I would clean the room or sweep. It’s funny because now I can do all the specific things like sanitize clippers like it’s nothing, ‘cause I’ve been doing it since I was 8!
K: Now you’re getting paid for it!
C: Definitely, I did that for a week at a time and then I started doing sports. I played football, basketball and track. Big man relay, I don’t run - I was doing field events.
K: What’s your favorite part about Athens?
C: I like that Athens is small but it seems so big. I was born in a college town (Murfreesboro, TN), so it feels a lot like home.
K: Do you think you’ll be in Athens long-term?
C: That’s actually a question for my wife. She’s a character coach with Athletes in Action working with students at the university.
K: How would you describe your personal style, behind the chair?
C: It’s professional. I want to be clean and I want our clients to feel like they can trust me with their fashion and their hair, so [they’re] not like “How can he tell me what looks good?!” Giving that professional image is important.
K: Grooming is clearly important to you.
C: Oh yeah, it’s everything to me. I really enjoy it, though. That’s the difference. Even some of the [people] I graduated with in cosmetology school -- I think we graduated with over 40 and there’s only 3 of us still doing it. It’s people who enjoy all aspects of it. I love talking to people.
K: What’s one wardrobe item you can’t live without?
C: My tanks. It’s very old-school of me, but my grandfather would always make sure I had one on under my church clothes. Now, these Mavi jeans. They’re my favorite pair. Being comfortable is what it’s all about.