Mindy and Bob Wilkins recently celebrated 20 years of service as the Cutter Bug. Photo by Steve Whitford, KP news

In 1975, Florida girl Mindy Wilkins moved to Key Peninsula.

After 2400 hours of professional training at Mr. Roberts Beauty School, she qualified for her cosmetologist license in 1984.

After that, Wilkins worked in other shops for about 10years, but she always wanted her own business. She got her chance in 1994, when the old Red Caboose located near the Vaughn Community Center became available.

Even before the Cutter Bug was officially open, Wilkins got her first customer. A man came in and asked for a haircut and she didn’t even have a chair at the time, but her customer was more than willing to get trimmed while seated on the toilet.

Her business later moved to the K.C. Corral, where the Cutter Bug remained for the next seven years.

During this period, Wilkins also worked out of her house and even went mobile when clients needed her to.

She said one of her fondest memories of that time was a day she spent at Camp Seymour. A group of physically challenged children were going to their first prom. Wilkins spent the day cutting, dyeing, curling and perming their hair for free, and enjoyed every minute.

In May of this year, Wilkins moved to her present location inside the Shear Magic Salon, where she rents space from Greg Williams, owner and proprietor.

The building’s interior was remodeled by Bob Wilkins, Mindy’s husband who is also her bookkeeper and general handy man. She confessed that “He was my first true love.” Time and distance separated them and they went their separate ways until five years ago when chance reunited them, they have been together ever since.

As a cosmetologist, Wilkins cuts, perms and colors hair for men, women and children.

In addition, her shop provides an excellent supply of high-end hair products from the Paul Mitchell brand including: It’s a Ten, Hempz, Bed Head, Tea Tree, Joico and American Crew. Wilkins said that special orders are always welcome and only take a week to come in.

The Cutter Bug is open from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by special appointment on Sundays.

“My clients and community are like family to me. I know almost everyone and I make every effort to meet their needs,” Wilkins said.

For information Wilkins can be reached at (253) 225-8117 and also has a Facebook page, Cutter Bug Salon and Beauty Supply.