Alex Lewis, owner of Wanderer Barbering Co., cuts the hair of Everett client Anna Kincaid in the mobile hair studio Lewis started last summer. Lewis makes house calls and takes her barbering service to weddings and events. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Alex Lewis, owner of Wanderer Barbering Co., cuts the hair of Everett client Anna Kincaid in the mobile hair studio Lewis started last summer. Lewis makes house calls and takes her barbering service to weddings and events. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Driving with scissors: This barber shop is on wheels

Stylist Alex Lewis of Everett started Wanderer Barbering Co. in a van to bring cuts to clients.

EVERETT — She’s driving with scissors.

What’s up with that?

Wanderer Barbering Co. owner Alex Lewis does curbside cuts.

She takes her barber-mobile to driveways, weddings and events.

“I just started rolling in it last August,” Lewis said.

Mobile grooming services for pets have been around for years. In the pandemic, they gained popularity for grooming human hair. Barbers and stylists worldwide turned vans, RVs and buses into salons on wheels, with catchy names such as Vanity Van and Hair Rollers.

Being her own boss was a good fit for Lewis, 36, who is married to a firefighter and raising two children, 3 and 6. Most appointments are booked in advance through social media @wandererbarberingco and text.

Lewis cuts, trims, shampoos and styles. She doesn’t color, perm or do anything with chemicals.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, she parked her white 2021 Ram 2500 ProMaster cargo van in front of a north Everett home. Jacob and Anna Kincaid got coiffed about 20 steps from their front door.

Alex Lewis, owner of Wanderer Barbering Co., cuts the hair of Anna Kincaid outside Kincaid’s Everett home. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Alex Lewis, owner of Wanderer Barbering Co., cuts the hair of Anna Kincaid outside Kincaid’s Everett home. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“I get a great haircut and I don’t have to go very far. It’s convenient,” Jacob Kincaid said.

Anna cut his hair during the quarantine. She saw Wanderer Barbering Co. on Instagram and lined up the first cut for Jacob several months ago. This time, she got in the chair, too.

The van has a chair with a sink. It looks more chic salon than tricked out car. The walls are white shiplap and the floors dark brown laminate. The accent theme is black and gold. Fresh air circulates through the open door and windows.

Two 25-gallon water tanks, a water heater and powering fixtures are behind the partition wall in back. Water drains into a tank, not in the street, so nothing is left behind other than manicured heads.

Neighbors see a white van. No red-white-and-blue barber pole to signal what’s going on inside.

“I respect the old school barber tradition, but I wanted to go a little outside that box,” Lewis said.

The logo is a black-and-gold compass designed by a Ballard tattoo artist.

“I wanted something that was northwest-y, so a compass made sense, and the whole wanderer thing,” she said.

Before COVID-19 changed everything, Lewis floated at a Seattle barber shop. She had a side business during the wedding season as Tied Knot Gentlemen’s Grooming, centered on neck trims for groomsmen on site in venues, not in a vehicle. She’d bring her tool case to the suite.

Stylist Alex Lewis washes Anna Kincaid’s hair before giving it a cut outside Kincaid’s home. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Stylist Alex Lewis washes Anna Kincaid’s hair before giving it a cut outside Kincaid’s home. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Last summer, she rebranded in a van.

She credits the Washington Small Business Development Center with mentoring and making it possible.

Her uncle, a Snohomish woodworker, crafted the van’s shiplap walls, partition and bench.

“I said, ‘Hey, could I trade you free haircuts for the rest of your life to help me?” she said.

Short cuts are $55 and long cuts are $75.

House calls are an extra $15 plus a mileage fee from the Everett headquarters. At festivals, such as May’s Fisherman’s Village Music Fest in Everett, the fees are waived.

A package deal for groomsmen starts at $575.

Cuts come with hot towels and a cold drink, a 16-ounce can of Liquid Death, water sourced from the Austrian Alps. The can looks like a beer can and matches her color scheme.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Gold Bar in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Crash closes U.S. 2 near Gold Bar

The crash Wednesday afternoon at Reiter Road east of Gold Bar caused minor injuries. Traffic was backed up a half-mile.

A transit rider steps onto a Community Transit bus on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
What route should new Smokey Point bus route take through Marysville?

By 2029, the Gold Line will connect Everett Station to Smokey Point. Community Transit wants your input on the exact path.

Everett
Suspected impaired driver strikes patrol car on I-5 near Everett

No injuries were reported in the crash on northbound I-5 between Everett and Marysville early Wednesday morning.

Public Works Senior Engineer Randy Loveless looks out over Everett’s 101-year-old reservoir at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Reservoir 3 Replacement Project on Tuesday, July 23, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
With looming earthquake threat, Everett breaks ground on $80M reservoirs

Contractors will replace a 100-year-old reservoir east of Evergreen Way with two smaller ones.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
Former Monroe High teacher charged with sexual misconduct

In a police interview, Giles Stanton acknowledged relationships with former students, reportedly saying “he felt a bit like Bill Clinton.”

Lauren Davis, left, Lori Theis, Dunia Wabenga
Public safety is a central question in south Snohomish County race

Rep. Lauren Davis is running for a fourth term. Republican Lori Theis and Democrat Dunia Wabenga are trying to unseat her.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.