GREENFIELD — With a hair coloring brush in one hand and foil wrap in the other, Gary Halliburton didn’t want to stop work on his customer to acknowledge he’ll be celebrating 35 years of being in business in March.

Halliburton, owner of Progressive Hair, kept one eye on his work, styling the hair of longtime customer Jean Thomas of New Palestine, while he reflected on his many years of serving the community.

His shop, located at 5859 W. U.S. 40, has been at the same location for the past 17 years after moving there from across the street and will celebrate its 35th anniversary during the month of March.

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“We love our location, and the community has been just awesome supporting us,” Halliburton said.

Halliburton, a 1974 New Palestine High School graduate, always had a nose for business, he said. His dream of owning his own hair style shop and offering a service to the community, seemed far-fetched when he started all those years ago.

“I was unemployed, and I ran into a friend who said I ought to go check out beauty school — I did, and now some 30 years later, I am beyond blessed,” Halliburton said.

Halliburton also is a longtime member and former president of the New Palestine Chamber of Commerce. He’s also a current Leadership of Hancock County board member and helps with leadership academy classes in the Southern Hancock school district.

Halliburton said there is no secret to running a successful business.

“If you love your people, they will love you back,” Halliburton said.

Longtime employee Charlotte Adams, who has been working at the shop for 19 years, said her boss is down to earth, the kind of guy everybody goes to when they want something done around town.

Thomas, who has been coming to the salon for the past 14 years, said she likes the fact Halliburton is more than a typical business owner.

“He really does care,” Thomas said. “He’s also really good at what he does.”

Adams considers her boss a close friend and a great hair stylist. Halliburton continues to work on his craft through education and learning the latest hair design techniques she said.

“We’re always moving forward,” Adams said.

Halliburton, a father of one, said he enjoys helping his customers, employees and family members look good with progressive hair styles. He also likes to teach them the business.

Halliburton’s nephew, Damian Inman, currently works there.

Inman recently graduated from college and said he is learning all he can about what it takes to run a successful business from his uncle.

Halliburton said shop employees and customers will celebrate the anniversary during the month of March. They’re hosting a come-all customer appreciation event, Friday, March 4, and again Saturday, March 5, during business hours.

The event will offer food, beverages, product discounts and giveaways.

Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or