Mickey’s Hometown Barbershop celebrating 30-year anniversary
Last updated 6/27/2018 at Noon
If you ask Mickey Rounds why he decided to become a barber, he’ll tell you about his mom and sister.
“I was young and was at a point when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life,” Rounds said. “My sister and mom thought being a barber would be a good job because I could stand and talk all day.”
Though they were partially joking, Rounds, now 59, attended barber school and ended up opening his business, Mickey’s Hometown Barbershop, in July of 1988, in his hometown of Mukilteo.
Mickey’s is located on Lincoln Avenue across from the Rosehill Community Center, where Rounds attended school from kindergarten through sixth grade, and is just down the street from his childhood home on 5th Street, where his father still lives.
“I’ve had some (customers) where I cut their son’s hair, and now I’m cutting their son’s son’s hair,” he said.
Rounds’ first customer still comes by on a constant basis as well.
“The day before I opened, I had my dad come in so he could be the first customer, and I told him, ‘Just bring me $1,’” Rounds said. “He told me I won’t be in business long if I keep giving out haircuts like that.”
Now 87, his father still gets his hair cut at Mickey’s, as do Rounds’ son and grandson.
“When I opened up, my son was 7 1/2 and my daughter was 6,” Rounds said. “Now both have two kids, and my youngest grandkid is 8. She’s older than my son was when I first opened! Time sure has passed.”
Being the sole owner and employee, Rounds said the hardest part is taking time off.
“For me to take time off, that’s time without pay,” Rounds said. “But there are definitely advantages to owning your own business.”
Rounds said he takes two to three weeks off each year for vacation, but had to take seven weeks off in 2004 while he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“The most time I missed was in 2004 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” he said. “The doctor said I’d have to close for about seven weeks. I had surgery on it, and came back right after seven weeks.”
About a year later, he had to undergo weeks of radiation, but he gets an MRI every few years and has been healthy ever since.
When you walk in to Mickey’s, you’ll see a shelf full of knick-knacks and autographed photos of famous people like Johnny Cash, and instantly assume Rounds has met some pretty interesting people in his life.
That’s not the case.
“People just bring in these photos and souvenirs for me,” Rounds said. “They say it’s out of appreciation.”
Rounds said his favorite part of the job is talking to his customers.
“I love talking to people,” he said. “The haircuts aren’t that exciting, but it’s not the same boring thing every day. People talk to me about everything from death to marriage. I love the expression that the people that people tell the most to are their barber and their bartender.”
Rounds had a message for his repeat customers who’ve helped him stay in business all these years.
“Thanks for your loyalty. That’s the most important thing,” Rounds said.
Rounds also wanted to thank his family for helping him along the way.
“Thanks to my wife and kids for sure,” he said. “I know I missed a lot of my kids’ activities on Saturdays growing up because of work.”
As a homegrown Mukiltean, Rounds is thankful to be in the town where he’s spent almost his entire life.
“Growing up here, it’s really neat to be open here,” Rounds said. “There’s a real small number of people who grow up somewhere and are able to open a business there.”
In addition to being open for 30 years, Rounds has some other important milestones coming up as well.
“We’re hitting 30 years here in July, it’ll be 40 years of marriage in February, and in June, I’ll turn 60,” Rounds said. “It’s cool to have all these milestones ending with zeros at the same time.”
Now with four grandkids, Rounds is asked frequently when he plans on retiring.
“I’m not going anywhere anytime soon,” Rounds said.
There are still more haircuts to be had at Mickey’s, and for good reason. He’s already been there for half of his life.
“I can honestly say more than half my life has been spent in this room,” Rounds said.
Rounds is hosting a celebration for his 30-year anniversary in mid-July. For more information on the event, visit Mickey’s Hometown Barbershop at 405 Lincoln Ave.