Muncie Origins: Self-taught barber, owner of Zach's Barber Shop still clipping
Editor's note: Muncie Origins is a Ball State Daily News series profiling various businesses that originated in Muncie.
Along North Wheeling Avenue lies Zach's Barber Shop, known for its "traditional" values as an old-school barbershop.
Zach Stratton, barber and owner of Zach's Barber Shop, has been cultivating his craft since the age of 15, when he and his brothers would cut each other's hair for their parents.
"I don't think they wanted to pay for us all to get haircuts every week," Stratton said. "They gave us some clippers and let us experiment on each other."
As he continued to cut his siblings hair, Stratton also began cutting his friends' hair in his hometown of Selma, Indiana. Todd Clark, Stratton's childhood friend, remembers the skill that Stratton had even at the beginning of his career.
"He's always had the eye and the hand for good haircuts," Clark said.
Stratton's skill for cutting hair carried him into Success Barber Schools, where he graduated in early 2006.
After barber school, Stratton went to work for Georgia's Barber Shop in Valparaiso for about a year until he decided to move back to Muncie and start his own business and barbershop in May 2007.
Clark is a frequent customer at Zach's Barber Shop, and has been attending the barber shop since its opening 10 years ago.
Despite the passage of time, Clark said that Stratton is still the same person he has known for most of his life.
"He's just a calm, nice, gentle man," Clark said. "The only thing that's changed is that he gets busier and busier every year."
Clark said Stratton is always able to meet the needs of his clients and continues to go to the barbershop because he gets the "perfect haircut every single time."
Stratton hopes to pass down the technique of cutting hair to his 4-year-old son, Marshall, who has shown interest in cutting hair with his dad.
Until then, Stratton is looking to expand Zach's Barber Shop so that he can eventually pass it down to his kids, who he hopes will "carry on the barber tradition."