Olde Towne East has been maturing as a residential neighborhood for decades, and the past few years have also seen a rise in new commercial businesses, with bakeries, restaurants and bars setting up and thriving. In 2012, Old Familiar Barbershop will be making their way to Parsons Avenue, across the street from Carabar. This new venture will focus on old-school barber services, but is being launched with a new-school funding method: anyone who ponies up $500 in advance to help get the business off the ground will be treated to a lifetime of birthday haircuts and shaves, and will get their name embedded on the wall of the shop.
We recently spoke to Old Familiar Barber Shop owner Kenji Prince to find out more.
Q: What sort of services will Old Familiar offer to customers?
A: The services at Old Familiar are a standard barber shop variety. Barbers are not reinventing the wheel, even though some shops make it seem they are. We are not bringing anything back from the dead by resurrecting the straight razor shave, because it never died. We will cut your hair, shave your face, and hopefully give you a few laughs along they way. Services will be done our way, the way we like to have them done to us.
Q: What types of products will the store sell?
A: I bring in products I would use myself, but have difficulty in finding them locally. I was the first person to bring Layrite Pomade, my favorite, to Columbus and have opened a few accounts for them around town. I am getting local mustache wax to go with the Cowboy Comb from Sacramento. Josh is a sales representative for the Xotics brand, and he is bringing it in with him. I want the products to reflect the style we like in here.
Q: Do you feel that there’s a need for your unique type of barber shop in Olde Towne East, or in Columbus as a whole?
A: Of course, I would not be doing it if I felt there was no need. I need a place to go get my haircut and my face shaved, hopefully I am not the only one dissatisfied with my options.
Q: So why should customers switch from their existing barber shop to yours?
A: I do not want guys to leave their barber. I want guys that go to cosmetology salons dressed up to look like barber shops to come see us. I want the guys that are tired of getting their haircut in a place that is uncomfortable and uptight. Only a barber can put a straight razor blade on your skin to shave your face and neck.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the “Familiar for Life” program?
A: Someone who has contributed to the shop so much that they are Familiar For Life gets to be forever a part of the shop, and I am forever indebted to them. It is my honor to forever take care of these men that have taken care of me in the beginning.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Old Familiar Barber Shop will legally marry you and your loved one in our shop! We would love for you to get your groomsman shaved up, then bring the ol’ lady in for a real hoot of a ceremony. Walk out feeling cleaned up and tied down all in one place!
To find out more about the business behind the barber shop, read The Metropreneur Article “Old Familiar Barber Shop coming to Olde Towne East in 2012″.
To learn more about Old Familiar Barber Shop, visit OldFamiliarBarberShop.com.
All Photos by Adam Lowe Photography.