You began your career as an accountant doing strictly office work. How did you go from accountant to barber?
Often, I joke about it being a midlife crisis, but honestly, there was no crisis involved at all. There just came a time that the desk life no longer appealed to me. I missed people. There were days that the only person I saw was my receptionist. I stopped by a barbershop one day at lunch to talk to a friend and immediately fell in love with the ambiance and generally relaxed environment. Before I knew it, I was putting in my notice, signing up for barber school and applying for night jobs. I had never cut a single hair in my life but was about to dive head-first into a profession more different than anything I had ever known.
Why did you leave Van Dykes for Men on 12th Street to start your own shop on First Avenue?
The shop I started out in was nice, but I had a unique vision that could only be fulfilled in a place where I had free reign to express my creativity. A throwback to the early 1900s, all of the furniture, fixtures and even decor is authentically antique. Just keeping the traditional barber alive wasn't enough for me. I wanted to bring the traditional barbershop back too, so Old School Barber Shoppe was born.
Why did you choose to stay downtown?
Barbershops are historically Main Street, USA establishments. Though we are hidden away upstairs in the old Muscogee No. 3 fire station, the spinning barber pole draws in passers-by regularly. I love the way that Uptown has and is progressing and wanted to be a part of that. So easily accessible by soldiers and professionals, which account for 80 percent of my clientele, there was no question when it came to location, location, location.
How else has your life changed?
Every aspect of who I thought I was has changed. My personality was definitely stifled by the corporate world, so I have been given the opportunity to find and be myself in a work environment created my me. I met and married an amazing man, who not only supports but assists me in living my dream. Being in charge of my schedule allows me more time with my family, and that alone makes me happier than I have ever been.
What is the Columbus area's best-kept secret?
Uptown. I think people fail to realize just how much the area has to offer people of all ages and lifestyles. From the Uptown Market, Broadway Concert Series, to dining, outdoor activities, art galleries and other entertainment, there is something for everyone to get into right here downtown.
Name: Sherrie Lynne Mensink.
Job: Owner, Old School Barber Shoppe, 1041 First Ave., Columbus; master barber and stylist.
Current home: Columbus.
Family: David, my husband; Hannah, my 12-year-old daughter; three dogs and two puppies.
Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting, network marketing and business administration, Columbus State University; Master barber, Rivertown School of Beauty.
Favorite book: "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven R. Covey.
Favorite movie: "Nosferatu," the 1922 original silent film, of course.
Favorite restaurant: The Loft -- upstairs, downstairs, even outside.
Favorite quote: "I never dreamed of success, I worked for it" -- Estee Lauder.
Best concert attended: Ben Harper at Chastain Park, Atlanta.