Carmella is a haircutter with two children who moved here from South America. She works in a hip independent hair cuttery in the rapidly changing neighborhood of Roscoe Village, on the North Side.
I been here 12 years. I just don’t like the winter, the weather. But summers I like. I’ve been working here for four months. I used to work downtown. I worked in a small shop by the lake on Wacker. I like it here though. I mean, it was good there, but I like the scene better. It’s just closer for me. I have kids. Always you have to make it more convenient when you have kids. My daughter, she’s in first grade. So I have to pick them up, drop them off. The hours are more perfect for me over here.
The area is changing a lot. I used to work by Southport and Newport, like five years ago. But then I went on maternity leave. So I stopped. That was when it started picking up, a lot. Now, forget about it. A lot of people think it’s like a downtown over here. I’m like, “Where downtown?” Roscoe Village. [Laughs.] It’s fun, you know, you can walk around here. The people are nice.
What’s the craziest story you’ve ever heard as a hairstylist?
Most of the time they talk about their lives. You know, their families. People just tell me things. You know sometimes people just want to get it out? I usually [get mine cut] here. I know lots of the stylists. You can’t discuss everything. You gotta sit in the next chair, you know what I mean?
It’s always such a relief to get a haircut.
You get comfortable, basically. If you go to SuperCuts, or those places, you don’t get comfortable. Have you ever been to those places, like SuperCuts? We have a lot of people who go there, especially that come here from SuperCuts, and they ask us to redo their haircut. So they have to pay double. They should have just come here in the beginning.
I’ve been cutting hair for eight years. I like it. I can see myself doing this. . . .
So you’re not going to run for office?
[Laughs.] No, voting is for rich people.