SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With California’s reopening and Juneteenth and Pride Month being celebrated again, the month of June will be especially sweet for Oak Park barber Cheryl Weston.
Reflecting back on the last year brings tears to Weston's eyes.
“It’s been tough. All my brothers and sisters in this industry…we were affected. We were unprepared," said Weston, who owns of the CW Barber Lounge.
Dozens of California salon owners and beauty experts protested at the state capitol, demanding lawmakers reopen indoor salons forced to close or work outside at the height of the pandemic, and it proved costly for so many.
“Lost their businesses that they have built their whole life,” Weston said.
Weston is now celebrating the grand opening of her new shop, the CW Barber Lounge in Oak Park.
“Barbers had a bad experience during the pandemic, and so I had to reinvent myself,” Weston said. “And so I said let me do something exclusive. Let me just make it a lounge. Let me have to where they book online. You don’t have to debate who is next in the chair, and it’s a one on one experience. It takes a spirit of relentlessness.”
It’s that same relentless spirit that drove her grandfather to start his own barbershop. Weston says she’s proud she can follow in his footsteps with a shop of her own in a location that for over 70 years has served the Oak Park community.
The second generation African-American female master barber has just renovated a historic landmark, that many might know as the Old Timers Barber Shop, into her own private lounge.
As communities celebrate Juneteenth and Pride Month, Weston says the CW Barber Lounge will be a welcoming place.
“I want to give a shoutout to the LGBT community, and I want to let them know I know what it is to feel rejection, to feel abandonment, to feel prejudice, and I want them to know at the CW Barber Lounge they are welcome. Come get a cut. Come get a laugh. Come get some conversation,” Weston said.
The shop is located at 4307 Broadway in Sacramento.