NEWTOWN, PA – A Newtown barber’s unusual career trajectory came full circle when the former producer acted in a national commercial at her shop last weekend.
Tracey Bowen-Tobin has previously worked with celebrities including Regis Philbin and Mike Greenberg – and this time, she got to welcome basketball legend Allen Iverson, professional wrestler Ric Flair, rapper and producer Ice-T, and hip hop icon Mr. Biggs of The Soul Sonic Force into her own barbershop.
It all started when Ken Barbet, a director at Shadowbox Pictures, signed on to a commercial for Carshield. He said that, as a local and a customer at Bowen’s Barber Shop for more than a decade, it was his natural first choice of location.
“The concept was mixing real Carshield customers with a few celebrity spokespeople in a familiar setting which would promote a relaxed conversation with regards to Carshield,” he told Patch.
But he couldn’t have known just how perfectly the commercial would marry Bowen-Tobin’s careers as a TV producer, barber, and groomer.
Bowen-Tobin owns the shop with her mother, Linda Bowen, who opened it more than 25 years ago. She describes her mom as a “visionary” – “my best friend, a great business partner, and a wonderful person.”
Bowen-Tobin didn’t set out to follow in her mom’s footsteps, though. As a graduate of Council Rock High School North, she studied television at Villanova University and landed her first job out of college on the show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
“I had about a 10-year career in television, living and working in New York and Los Angeles,” she told Patch.
When balancing time with her kids and the high-powered career of a producer felt unsustainable, though, her mom had a solution: come back and join the family business. So Bowen-Tobin learned to cut hair, got her license as a manager and shop owner, and moved home to Newtown.
“When I started cutting hair it was strictly as a work-life balance opportunity for me,” she said. “But within a year of my training, I truly fell in love with the craft of cutting hair. I’m blessed that I love both so much.”
Bowen-Tobin has also been able to combine her two passions, barbering and television, with side gigs doing men’s grooming for television shows. In these roles, which are easy to schedule around her time at the barbershop or home with her kids, she worked with Jimmy Kimmel and Snoop Dogg, among others.
She’s especially loved being able to work and collaborate with her mom, who is still cutting hair at the shop.
“It’s amazing to watch her because she just doesn’t stop,” she laughed.
She added, “It’s not something either one of us set out for me to do, but it’s ended up being a blessing, a gift, and just something I love.”
Everyone had a lot of fun producing the commercial together – and Barbet said local restaurant Vecchia Osteria provided 150 meals to the crew over the course of filming.
“The shop was accommodating and Tracey … was terrific to work with,” he said.
Learn more about Bowen’s Barber Shop online – and look out for the Carshield commercial airing sometime this month.
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