Peggy Cheek

by Terry Watson | September 16th, 2016
Peggy Cheek

Peggy Cheek

Peggy Cheek is a native of Henderson, N.C., and is the second oldest of six children. At the young age of 15, her mother was killed at the hands of her father. This was a very dramatic situation for both Cheek and her siblings. As life changed for her, she was left to be raised by her grandmother. She later moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., before settling into Birmingham, Ala. Her life continued to transform and she moved back to Henderson and started her family. Things were not ideal for her in Henderson and she decided to move her family to Raleigh while searching for better opportunities.

For 25 years, Cheek worked for McDonalds, starting at the position of cashier and later advancing to the role of general manager. “The opportunity that McDonalds provided allowed me to grasp an understanding of the importance of good customer service. It also helped me to become more structured and organized as I grew into the management position,” she says. Though she progressed with McDonalds, she says there were some experiences that helped her to realize that she should be doing something else with her life.

While raising her three sons Tra’Quon, Nehemiah and James, Cheek spent a lot of time at the barbershop. “I thought to myself that I could save my money if I knew how to cut their hair, and so I enrolled into Harris Barber College,” she says. There she acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in the barbering trade. After graduating from barber school, she landed her first job as a barber at GQ Cuts in Raleigh. After working there for a period of time, she moved on Mr. Groom Room, before coming to Men At Work Barber Shop.

Cheek specialties include straight razor cuts, design clipper cutting, shampoo, tapers, scalp treatment and massages, and more. She also focuses on educating her clients on healthy hair and the importance of maintaining it. As a female barber in a male dominated industry, Cheek had to work harder to prove herself to her peers. “Some male clients will sit back and observe my ability before sitting in my chair. I believe that most male clients must first establish a level of comfort with me,” she says.

Cheek says what she loves most about being a barber is the challenges that come with it. “I was once told that I wouldn’t be a successful barber, and that this trade wasn’t for me. I didn’t allow that to discourage me, but instead I used it for motivation,” she says. “I also love the opportunities that I have to meet new people. In this industry you must be a people person,” she says.

In the future, Cheek hopes to eventually open her very own barbershop work alongside other female barbers. She would also like to use her platform to help single mothers who may be facing similar circumstances that she did. “I had to learn how to adjust to the difficulties that life presented me, even when there were no signs of hope. I push through because there are others who are depending on my success,” she says.

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