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Moline barber breathes new life into Old Towne shop

Moline barber breathes new life into Old Towne shop

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Rachel Camacho has been a barber in the Quad-Cities for more than a decade. But this month, she is celebrating the one year anniversary of her very own spot: the Rustic Barbershop Studio in Moline.

She had wanted her own shop “since I started my career,” the Moline woman said.

When she was younger, she worked as a receptionist in a salon. “I’ve always done my friends’ hair,” she said.

She worked for a chain barbershop in the area for a while, she said, and then rented a chair at another shop. Each gave her experience working for someone else and working for herself, she said.

“And then (I) finally opened my own spot.”

Camacho knew she wanted to open a barbershop in the Moline area to be close to her clients, so when she found a spot open in the Old Towne area and chatted with some other business owners there, she was sold.

The area once was a bustling part of town, people in the neighborhood said. They wanted to “bring it back to life.”

The building itself — at 704 18th Ave., Moline — was really cool on the inside, she said, especially the rich, dark brown hardwood floors, which actually inspired the shop’s entire vibe.

“It just fit perfect,” she said.

Inside the shop was a big, open space, but her husband, Francisco, is a contractor, so “he did all the work in there,” she said.

“(He) put it together for me, built stations. … That’s pretty much why it worked.”

Now, the space features a reception area, three stations up front, a couple of stations in the back, a spa area, a kitchen and break room area, and bathrooms.

When it came time to decorate, “I just kind of went off the wood (floors),” she said, adding that she was really drawn to them. Light gray walls and bits of greenery give off a very modern, farmhouse sort of feel, and bright red barber chairs offer a little pop of color, she said.

It’s “comfortable,” but at the same time, it has a crisp, refreshing and clean feel, she said. “We did kind of want something different” from other barbershops. “I wanted to be my own thing,” she said. "I didn’t want to try (to) mimic anybody.”

Camacho said she and two other barbers, Amber Abbott and Jill Wheatley, perform all barbering services from haircuts and beard trimmings to straight-razor shaves, hot-towel services, facials and waxing for walk-in clients and by appointment.

“I like doing something different every day,” she said. “I just like having conversations with my customers, meeting new people.”

She has been working as a barber for so long that many of the people she sees are “friends more than just clients,” she said.

Since reopening after the COVID-19 shutdown, Camacho said she and the other barbers have been busier than ever.

“(People) are glad we’re there; people are excited to see new businesses kind of coming back in that area,” she said. “It feels good to be a part of the community.”

The Rustic Barbershop Studio is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, or to book an appointment, visit facebook.com/RusticBarberstudio or call 309-317-9291.

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