Martin’s Barber School expands to opening shops

With his barber school flourishing, Joe Martin has expanded into opening barber shops.

Martin, who opened Martin’s Barber School in Huntingdon on Oct. 15, 2014, recently opened shops in Altoona and Williamsburg.

Martin opened Mansion Park Barber Shop, 3523 Fifth Ave., in January.

“When the mall (barber shop) closed the doors, they gave me a call to see if I was interested. We looked at Altoona. Altoona could definitely use another barber shop. We thought Mansion Park was a better fit for us,” Martin said. “We have five barbers there. Huey Ehredt is head barber, he and three of the other four are graduates of my school.”

Martin filled a void by opening the Riverside Barber Shop in Williamsburg in July. The town had been without a barber shop since last fall when Charles Hauser fully retired from the High Street shop he had operated since 1958.

“With having the school, we had a few people from Williamsburg come in for haircuts. Some asked about the possibility of opening a shop since there were no barbers in the town. They asked if we would open one, so we looked at Williamsburg,” Martin said. “Alicia (Steele) is a resident of Williamsburg so that was easy. Marc (Hoover) has an apartment upstairs. They are co-barbers.”

Martin said business is picking up at the Williamsburg shop.

“With small towns, it is tough for a new business. It is doing well for just opening in July,” Martin said.

Martin, who is co-owner of the two shops with his brother, Nathan, said they are exploring opportunities to open more shops in the area.

“We would like to see more barber shops in small towns. A lot of them could use a barber shop. Most of the small towns used to have two, three or four barbers; now there are no barbers at all in some of those towns. A goal for us is to open more barber shops in some of the small towns,” Joe Martin said.

Martin said 30 barbers have graduated from his school and one of his current students is his brother, who is also chief financial officer at Nori Media Group in Shippensburg.

“I got into the business as an investment startup business. I decided to go through the whole process and be on the same level with the barbers. I enjoy cutting hair; it is a creative outlet,” said Nathan Martin, who will graduate in the spring.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.