COURTESY OF JENNIFER SIEGRIST
Coming from Universal Studios, Jennifer Siegrist never imagined she would open a barbershop inside Chipman & Taylor Chevrolet on Bishop Boulevard in Pullman.
Siegrist, also known as Jenn the Barber, cut hair for 19 years. She earned her cosmetology license after working as a makeup artist at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Siegrist moved to Pullman to attend graduate school and originally studied entomology but decided that it was not for her. She found that being a barber was less restrictive, and she could pursue what she loved.
“The community is the best one I’ve ever known, and trust me, I know many,” Siegrist said. “It’s so different from the East Coast.”
Siegrist worked inside of Legends Barbershop in Moscow before the pandemic by renting out a chair. The pandemic led to the shops closing indefinitely, leaving Siegrist without an office location.
During the pandemic, Siegrist was doing haircuts in her home. One of her loyal clients is Fran Amend, owner of Chipman & Taylor Chevrolet. Amend offered Siegrist a room in the dealership to help her through the tough times the pandemic brought, she said.
Siegrist stopped by the dealership to investigate the space, which to her surprise was a perfect size and full of bright, natural light, she said. Siegrist opened her shop early November.
“It needed some touch-ups, I redid everything and made it look like a true barbershop,” Siegrist said. “Amend helped with all the start-up costs for me, which really helped me get back on my feet.”
The pandemic knocked a lot of barbers out of business, and it was hard to get started again. Everyone made their own way through the pandemic, she said.
“As long as it’s wonderful, which it is, I plan on staying here,” Siegrist said.
Employees also have a chance to come in to get hair cuts during this time, she said.
Siegrist is currently hosting a “Golden Ticket” program to give back to the community. Lucky members in the Pullman area can be surprised with one of these tickets to redeem for a haircut. She said she gives out the vouchers at random, as well as to those who show kindness.
She said she appreciates the connections with people, especially during the pandemic.
“One thing that came out during this time is that Amend helped me out personally, instead of donating to a charity,” Siegrist said. “I wanted to start giving back in the best way I can.”