Hair stylist Jack Mecham has been beautifying the men and women of Rim country for the last 22 years at his shop, Wild About Hair.
"After doing this for 23 years, I still look forward to coming to work in the morning," Mecham said. "I am passionate about what I do."
Prior to becoming a stylist, Mecham was a professional musician. At 19 years old he was one of 20 people in the nation chosen for a scholarship to the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. "After school I moved back to Tempe where my folks were living and got hired by the Windmill Dinner Theater in Scottsdale," Mecham said.
When the disco era hit, Mecham's entertainment career was affected. "In 1979 all of a sudden, all the places that hired live entertainment began putting up mirrorballs and dance floors and went to canned music," Mecham said.
"If I wanted to keep performing, I would have to go on the road," Mecham said. "I was married then, had a house and two dogs and the life I wanted wasn't conducive to being on the road."
It was at that time that Mecham decided to become a professional hair stylist.
"I went to school and to my surprise, really liked the profession and opened my shop in Payson," Mecham said.
"The reason I do this is not to get rich," Mecham laughs. "I get to make people feel better about themselves. If I can make someone feel good about themselves - then what a great gift for me." He said.
"The secret to this business is asking clients the right questions, such as what do you like best or hate most about your hair and how much time do you want to spend on your hair in the morning." Mecham said. "This is not an in-and-out shop. I book enough time for each client so that I can talk to them and get a feel for what they want."
Until three years ago, Wild About Hair was located in the Bashas' shopping center, but high rent forced Mecham to relocate to Bonanza Square.
Shortly after the move, Mecham's parents, both suffering from terminal ailments, required increasing amounts of care.
"I was caring for my parents at my house which towards the end of their lives, was very stressful," Mecham said. "I lost a lot of my clientele during that period but sometimes life's priorities turn."
Mecham stated that he is slowly rebuilding that clientele and is deeply touched by those who remained clients during the time when he was less available.
"I have clients who have been with me for 22 years and they could have gone to other stylists but they stuck with me through thick and thin," Mecham said. "They are not just clients, but friends and they have been with me during some rough times. That is a really nice feeling."