After working in a hair salon for 25 years, she decided to open her own hair shop. But she couldn't work around chemicals anymore because the products were bothering her too much.
"I wanted to get back into the business though because I missed it, so I decided I would do 'just cuts.'"
As a result, she opened Just Cuts unisex hair shop, at 121-2 Commercial St.
Watkins had worked in the hair business more than 25 years, including 12 years at Vallies in Glace Bay. Five years ago, she decided to take a break and tried a few different things including working at call centres.
But she missed the hairdressing business.
"I decided to go back to my roots," she said. "I wanted to go back into the business because I love it. I missed the people."
Watkins said after deciding to open her own business, she came across an advertisement for a location on Commercial Street.
"It had already been used as a salon before me, " she said. "She left but everything was still here, the hydraulic chairs, the sink, stations and everything. I didn't have to do a whole lot of work to it."
Decorating was the easy part. Watkins has nine sisters and five brothers. She opened in late November.
"Thanks to my many sisters and my brothers, they got me into here pretty quick."
Watkins said things have been going good so far.
"I have a lot of former customers who are just finding out I'm here now," she said.
Watkins said she does men, women and children's haircuts.
Although she will not do hair coloring, she does offer styles, sets and facial waxing.
Watkins said January is traditionally a slow month in the business; she is hoping things pick up in February. There are different events at certain times of the year that she knows will bring unique requests including when the boys' hockey teams get into the playoffs, and the teams go for the rituals that include having their hair done in a unique way.
“They usually come in for mullets or mohawks, whatever the trend is that year. They all do it as a group thing.”
Watkins said she is anxious to meet those in the downtown as well as the public and she will be holding an open house on Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"I'll have a whole day of specials. People are welcome to stop in for coffee and cake,” she said.
Just Cuts is open Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.