Men just want a good haircut with no extras and no added frills, right? Get in, get out, and be on their merry way.
But that time honored tradition has seen a remarkable turnaround recently, with rugged gruffness giving way to a male gender reassessment. Suddenly, it dawned on men that a visit to the barbers could offer much more than a shave and a quick trim.
And it was this principle that led business partners Justin Rosado and barber Nick Finley to the conclusion that Sarasota needed just such a place, and after a gestation period of almost five years, American Shave finally opened its doors 10 months ago.
Described as a barber shop and spa, American Shave, according to Rosado, will, “be a place just for men, created by men. Here, no-one is going to judge you or criticize you about what you want. This is an exclusively male environment.”
For Nick Finley, American Shave is the culmination of his tonsorial talent, ambition and foresight.
Originally from Englewood, by the age of 16 Finley had both his barber’s license and his own barbershop. But Sarasota beckoned, and in 2011 he met Rosado and business plans were hatched.
“I consider myself a traditional barber,” explained Finley. “But I always wanted to open a barbers that offered more than a haircut. I knew I had the skill set, it just took about five years to realize my dream.”
Apart from haircuts, American Shave also offers massages, waxes, and facials. However old habits die hard, and as Rosado explains, there has to be an element of reinterpretation as to traditional descriptions.
“It wasn’t so long ago that the words ‘men’ and ‘facial’ were never seen together,” he laughed. “Men don’t say to their friends, ‘Hey, you wanna go for a facial today?’ That’s not in any conversation… yet. So, instead of saying facial, we say ‘skin detail.’ Or instead of waxing, we describe it as ‘hair removal.’ By simply changing a description, our customers will be more susceptible to the idea of a foot detail instead of a mani-pedi.”
As for massages, Rosado offers his own insight into the masculine mindset.
“Men are not too particular when it comes to having a massage,” he said. “As long as it’s relaxing. But men have more of a, ‘I want a massage, and I want it now’ attitude. They don’t want to wait. What I hope for is that they’ll they come in for a haircut and say, ‘You know what? I think I’ll have a massage, too.’”
“It’s funny that men are still intimidated, Rosado continued. “It’s as if there’s a barrier preventing them from wanting to treat themselves. But that barrier is breaking down.”
With plans to open another American Shave in downtown Sarasota, both Finley and Rosado are overwhelmed by the success of their endeavor. Citing increased client lists and an impressive uptick in repeat bookings, the partnership is justifiably proud.
I never anticipated a place like this to be so popular,” said Rosado. “Nick and I have surpassed our expectations; American Shave offers a lifestyle that allows men to indulge themselves. We hope that will never change.”