When your grandmother is a hairstylist and your brother is in barber school, maybe the writing is on the wall. But, for Bradley Tuggle, it was more happenstance when he picked up his brother’s clippers and gave haircuts to his high school basketball teammates at Morehead High School in Eden.
From there, he began doing regular barber work, back in the 1990s, when he had an awakening when he did the hair of his first female client.
“I colored and cut it and I made 10 times the money that I did on the men’s haircut. So, that was my epiphany,” Tuggle said.
Over time, he became something of a rock star in the hair styling industry, appearing on Home Shopping Network almost every month, though he doesn’t really see himself as a celebrity, and maybe he isn’t.
“My wife tells me this, all the time, that your personality on TV is completely different than it is at home,” Tuggle said.
He could have used his notoriety to take his salon to a big city like Atlanta, DC or even New York.
“I’ve had offers to go all over the place but I love North Carolina,” he said.
Tuggle believes it is time for salons to be allowed to reopen. Sanitation won’t be an issue, he insists.
“We’ve been doing this from the beginning, this is nothing different,” Tuggle said about sanitation. “And I feel like if somebody were to be in a salon to see what we did on an everyday basis, they’d realize this is one of the safest environments you can be in.”
So far, salons haven’t been allowed to open because they haven’t been deemed “essential” by the government.
“By definition, no, it’s not, I don’t think it is an essential business,” Tuggle said. “But, when you see what other things are opening, right now, and as far as the essential and non-essential and I think it’s just as essential as some of the businesses that are out there.”
He’s most worried about the stylists who need to work to provide for their families.
“The small businesses are getting hurt so bad. A lot of the big companies, they will be fine. That’s the way America works,” Tuggle said. “But at the end of the day, the small businesses, the everyday hairdresser who’s behind the chair, the everyday hairdresser that hustles every single day to put food on their table are the ones who make these ladies (their clients) look good and look beautiful and it’s getting tight.”
See what Bradley’s big break was that helped him become an HSN TV star in this Small Business Spotlight.