Planning Ahead (Starting the search for a 5th barber)
Life is a series of changes. You can either choose to embrace the newness, or you can choose to be frustrated that nostalgia is reserved for things of the past.
The changes we have seen in Boise are an amazing thing when you can embrace them. At one point, everyone was complaining about the construction downtown, but now its a new normal to see those stupid scooters zipping around everyone and hoping that the riders don’t die in traffic.
The Center on the Grove is alive with the regrowth of a completed construction project, but the drastically changing scenery of the surrounding blocks is coupled with the death of my adolescence. The Boise Venue from 5th and Broad is no more. The place that harbored my ideals towards the antiestablishment has been replaced with a brewery, a coffee shop, and overpriced condos.
A simple building contained my most cherished memories. I’ve seen Every Time I Die play to an audience of less than 50. MeWithoutYou was one of the greatest performances of my youth, and I can vividly remember Aaron asking about where Sharon went in the middle of their set, and seeing his sadness that she wasn’t there after she had sold the concert house to a new owner. I recently framed the silk screened poster from when Say Anything was supporting The Rocket Summer with material from Max’s new album, “Is A Real Boy.” The unforgettable night of being in a van with the guys from HelloGoodbye while we all sang BoysIIMen during the drive to my dad’s house. I even proposed to my ex in the middle of a crowded He Is Legend set. I’ve been spoiled with some of the greatest music experiences that anyone could have by hanging out with bands in the parking lot in-between sets, but now the memories lie in a grave marked with a headstone that resembles everything I once fought against, condominiums and retail space available for lease.
I could complain that the memories are over. Knowing that nostalgia is little more than living in the past while failing to acknowledge the present, the parking lot that held the memories of becoming an adult now houses this great little coffee shop that serves lattes with a house made cashew milk.
Growing older is not about grieving over what we once had. It’s about embracing what is, and anticipating what is yet to be. I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of the experiences I had, but a large part of life surrounding growing up and maturing is how we respond to change.
The barber industry has begun to move faster in the past few years than any of the decades prior. I don’t want The Barber Story’s legacy to be that of only a few summers, so I’ve been doing my research in every city I visit.
I also spent some time stopping by a few barbershops during my visit to Portland
Here’s what I’m learning, my decor is slightly lacking, I need to film a commercial for our website to demonstrate our capabilities to new clients, but mostly I’ve noticed that our neighboring markets are averaging around $40-$45 for a service comparable to what The Barber Story offers for $25.
As for the decor, I am excited to say that I have already began progress on that. I purchased a small part of my childhood and have seats from Turner Field getting installed into the shop, and I have been talking to Jacob with Distinctive Designs to see what kind of magic they can work into the shop. I even have a fabricator working on a project to turn Reham’s mosaic barber pole into a functional rotating pole that we can have in the front window.
This renovation is coming from a place of unadulterated appreciation. I have never taken as much pride in something as I do my business, and I simply want to be the best for the people who deserve the best from us. Right now, the shop is a reflection of our youth. We have video games and comic book art up on the walls, and toys that remind us of growing up. But part of growing up means changes, and I want the shop to start reflecting the maturity we have found in our careers.
I anticipate a few things happening. First and foremost, we will be changing our price structure later this year after the renovation project has been completed. This decision is based off of feedback I consistently hear from clients saying that our work is worth more than we charge because of our attention to detail, and it also comes from feedback that it is too difficult to get appointments on short notice. The tenured barbers in the shop typically book out 2-3 weeks in advance, and even Liz has had to start turning down walk-ins from time to time because her books have gotten so full in the few months she has been in the shop. I am working with all of the feedback from our clients to ensure that the shop’s new pricing structure is fair and balanced when it gets implemented.
The next major change will be my eventual move into part time hours. My goals are to continue traveling, and learning more about the hair industry to bring those lessons back to the Treasure Valley. I will be working at Truman Barber Co. in Boulder, CO from 8/22-8/24 as a guest barber. The following week I will be in Seattle for PAX and to visit the barbershops that I have been following for the past few years. Ideally, I will be moving down to cutting hair 3 days a week, with the rest of my time focused on managing the business and creating marketing content for both The Barber Story, as well as other local businesses in Boise.
This means I will be ACTIVELY seeking a 5th barber for the shop who would like to share my chair in the time that I’m not using it. Experience will be preferred, but considering how much experience the shop has, newly licensed barbers will be welcomed with an opportunity to hone their craft once the renovations have been completed.
2019 has been a phenomenal year at The Barber Story, and I can’t wait to show you the shop as what it will become in 2020.