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Boomtown: Barber Makes It Big In Oil Boom

A rustic area not far from El Paso, marked by open land and sprawling oil rigs, might not sound like the best place for a budding entrepreneur to open shop.
But on the corner of Third and Plum in Pecos, Texas, you’ll find a trailer that belongs to Pete McGarity.
“I’ve been doing this twenty years, man,” McGarity says.
He’s the owner of Headliners Barber Shop.
“My home front is in Odessa. That’s where my business came about. But I’m here for the boom.”
Once McGarity saw oil workers in need of haircuts, he jumped on the opportunity.
“All the workers. It’s filled with workers,” McGarity says. “I had to try to get to the money some kind of way… to the oil boom money.”
After being featured in a Washington Post article, he’s become quite the buzz.
“It’s good advertising, but at the same time I’m putting my business out there, I’m attracting people that come out here and want to do what I do.”
That’s because McGarity is doing better than good.
His customers shell out 30 to 40 dollars for a basic cut.
If you want to skip the wait – you have to pay the premium.
“Some of these workers, they have to be somewhere and they can’t wait so we offer a jump line price, which is 60 bucks…60 and up, just depending on what they need.”
Customers like oil field worker Kalib Barrilleaux say Headliners is the best place to get a haircut. He comes to McGarity’s shop straight from the fields.
“We run a fast paced business,” Barrilleaux said.
Some days the line of clients wraps around McGarity’s trailer.
“Sometimes they’ll offer, ‘I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you get me in next.'”
As he sets up the next haircut while cutting hair, McGarity says it’s quick money, but it does come with challenges.
“I live in Odessa. It’s not easy to get up everyday, drive an hour, come cut for 8 hours and then drive back and then do it again. After a while it gets a little tiring.”
Although he still sees himself cutting hair for several more years, he says he’s already thinking about the future.
“My ultimate goal is to sit down somewhere one day soon and relax. Give me a good ol’ lake house somewhere by Austin, I’m cool.”

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