Sally's Barber Shop in Poulsbo celebrates a decade.

POULSBO Ten years ago Sally Tuson entered an all-male universe.

And she hasn't come back.

Instead, she's created quite the niche for herself, operating the shears at Sally's Barber Shop, which is celebrating a decade in business this coming week.

Taking over for longtime barber Jim Johnson, who ran the shop for nearly half a century, Tuson, 37, said as it is for many coming into business, she could only hope for it to be a success.

"You just don't know if you're going to make it or not," she said over coffee in The Diner, a Poulsbo institution that sits next to Sally's on Viking Way. Her sister has worked at the restaurant for more than a decade.

Now with a full gamut of clients throughout the area, Tuson's become pretty comfortable with her place in the hairstyling realm of men.

"They get to be almost like your family," she said of her customers. "A lot of them just stick with you."

And while she may provide a bit of feminine insight for them, listening to the stories and secrets of those in her chair is something she said is all a part of her day.

"If you could write a book, it would be a dang good one," she said with a laugh.

Being a barber is a job that must run in her genes, as her mother, twin sister and cousin have all been in the profession.

When it comes to haircuts for men in her family, "everyone's taken care of," she said.

Sally's Barber Shop, sandwiched between tires and parts stores on what could be called Poulsbo's Auto Row, has built up a clientele Tuson knows well. Its atmosphere is a relaxing one where clients can sit back and have fun, she said.

"You'd think it'd be a bunch of women gossiping over there, but it's all men," she said, adding jokingly, "They're all good guys, they're all fun. Except if they're grumpy, they can't come in."

With Johnson still as her landlord, Tuson has put her own touch on the shop, adding not just her name but a few other touches, including a photo collage of family members and friends.

She plans on serving up some special sweets throughout the week in celebration of a decade well-done.

Because she did make it, and that's something to celebrate.

When asked about putting a decade on the books, Tuson looked around her shop, shrugged and smiled broadly.

"It's good," she said.

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