A military brat with family ties to Carthage, James Zell was a fresh U.S. Army infantry recruit at 18 when he left town. After being stationed at Fort Lewis, followed by a 14-month stint in Iraq, his return to Moore County was a happy homecoming.
In August, he opened the military-inspired and very kid-friendly Headquarters (HQ) Barbershop and Shave Lounge to rave reviews. Serving as an extra pair of hands is Michelle Melton, a Marine from a small town in South Carolina.
“There is a whole community back here that needs haircuts. And where else can you get a haircut and look out the window while they prime tobacco?” Zell says. “I mean right outside the shop is North Carolina in one picture: we’ve got blue sky, tobacco, and pine trees.”