RINGWOOD, N.J. – After 40 years of serving the Ringwood community, the Shear Shop closed its doors last week, and a man who spent decades cutting the hair of borough residents said goodbye to his career as a barber.
“I am going to definitely miss it,” Phil Selleroli Sr. said as he watched his colleagues tend to the shop’s final customers. “But I am 81 years old, so I think it is time.”
Selleroli said the best part of his job was “meeting people.”
“You get pretty personal and have conversations that interest you, and you meet interesting people with different occupations,” he said.
Selleroli started cutting hair when he was 25. He grew up in Paterson and opened the Shear Shop in Fieldstone Plaza on Skyline Drive in 1976, after about a decade of running a barber shop in Clifton.
The rent was higher in Ringwood, so to make up the difference, he took a second job delivering newspapers. But he didn’t need it long: “Business was great,” he said.
In 1998, he sold the business to his son, who had it for about a decade before selling it to Ringwood-native Jill Farley. She ran the shop for the last 18 years. But all along, Selleroli was a fixture in the shop – watching children grow into adults and tending to his loyal customers. In recent years, he cut his hours back to one or two days a week.
When asked what he will do now, Selleroli smiled and said: “Relax.”
Farley said she decided to close the shop so she could spend more time with her two small children, but it wasn’t an easy decision. She said she is going to miss her staff, a lot.
“I cried all the way here,” she said, as she stood in the shop on its final day.
“It grows on you,” Selleroli responded.
Then he added, “Life goes on.”