PHOTOS: Kelowna’s mobile barbershop, the Okanagan Lake Serpent

Shemaine Sugarcane, the owner of the Okanagan Lake Serpent Mobile Barber Shop. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Shemaine Sugarcane, the owner of the Okanagan Lake Serpent Mobile Barber Shop. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News) Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Sugarcane cuts customer Aaron Coombs’s hair. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Shemaine Sugarcane, the owner of the Okanagan Lake Serpent Mobile Barber Shop. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Shemaine Sugarcane moved to Kelowna from Merritt in 2009 with hopes of going to school for interior design.

She didn’t end up enrolling, but after spending a year in Kelowna, she knew she wanted to stay. She dreamed of going to hair-dressing school during her years as a high school student, so she decided to give MC College a try, the city’s hairstyling and esthetics school.

While she completed the program, she realized halfway through that she wasn’t really interested in being a hairdresser.

“I didn’t like doing the perming and the updos — all that extra jazz. But I liked cutting hair,” Sugarcane said. “I thought, ‘How can I do that?’”

Shortly after graduating, the Kelowna Barber Shop was willing to take her under their wing. From there, she spent the next eight years working and learning the ways of a traditional barber.

“I’m grateful for that training that I got because not everybody gets that anymore. A lot of people just have hairdressing training,” she said.

As she settled into her role at the shop, the idea of launching her own slowly began to germinate.

“Eventually, we got a phone call at the shop and they were asking for someone to come out to do shaves and haircuts for a wedding party at Lake Okanagan Resort,” she said. “I couldn’t go out there and do shaves and a haircut in a hotel room. It’s not really set up for that. I thought I would build one in a bus or a trailer or something.”

As she gave it more and more thought, she decided to do just that. After returning to Kelowna in April 2019 following a six-month stint in Australia, Sugarcane began working on her own mobile barbershop.

“I just wanted to own my own shop. Having it mobile made it so I could do weddings and events,” she said. “I could set up anywhere like a food truck. The more I thought about it, the more I realized, what could go wrong?”

With the help of friends, she slowly converted a small cargo trailer — six feet by 10 feet to be exact — into a mini barbershop. In October 2020, she launched her one-person business: the Okanagan Lake Serpent Mobile Barber Shop.

“It’s been good so far. I’m really happy that I’ve done it,” she said.

Located in the parking lot of ONE Boardshop off of Enterprise Way, the Okanagan Lake Serpent Mobile Barber Shop operates Tuesdays to Saturdays.

“I just want the customer’s life to be easy with their hair. I guess my goal is to give someone a haircut that works for their personal life and their style,” she said.

Eight months into her business, she said her focus right now is building her clientele and growing her portfolio. She recently towed the shop to her first event: a wedding in Penticton.

“I want to get to a point where I can build a bigger shop because this is a little tight,” she said. “It’s good for now and what I could afford at this time. Eventually, I would like to get into a bigger bus and maybe bring an apprentice on.”

Looking back on her journey, she said she never thought she would get to this point.

“It seemed like a good idea, so it got to the point where I needed to grow and move on from where I was at,” she said. “I had to do it. I just had to do it.”

READ MORE: Kelowna residents develop new app to support men’s mental health

READ MORE: Get out the popcorn, some Okanagan movie theatres are opening next week


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

A key in the lock of a door. (File photo)
Sicamous residents say lack of long-term rentals detrimental to town

A couple who have lived in Sicamous for 27 years and want to stay might have to leave

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Brodie Stuart and her mom, Mikel Stuart, gather for the celebration at Parkview Elementary on June 18, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Eagle Valley News)
Three Shuswap parents honoured for combined 34 years of volunteering

Parkview Elementary parent advisory council members surprised by appreciative flash mob

Centennial Field in Blind Bay will be the site of Market by the Bay on Thursday nights starting June 24, 2021. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)
Forty vendors expected for new Market by the Bay in the South Shuswap

Market starting June 24 to be situated at Centennial Field in Blind Bay

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Salmon Arm woman runs to raise funds for friend’s new prosthetic leg

33-kilometre Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read