Oct 16, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
It’s been four weeks since Fred’s Barber Shop opened in the Tops plaza in Cazenovia — and Fred Hinderliter has been so busy he’s already thinking of increasing his business hours.
“Men just feel more comfortable in a barber shop,” said Hinderliter, who opened up his shop inside Twisted Scissors salon at the beginning of September. “’Finally, there’s a barber shop in town’ — I’ve been hearing that a lot. Every week I’ve been doubling my clientele.”
It’s been 10 years since the village of Cazenovia had a barber shop — since Ford Lamb moved his shop from 74 Albany St. (current home of Lavender Blue) up to Route 20 in the town.
Hinderliter, who is 60 years old, said he’s wanted to be a barber ever since he was a boy. But because of marriage and children at an early age, and the accompanying bills that needed to be paid, he worked as a truck driver for 34 years. When the company he worked for moved out of the state two years ago, Hinderliter, who is also a Navy veteran, said he decided to take advantage of the Veterans Administration education funding and signed up for the barber college program at the Delaware-Chenango-Madison- Otsego BOCES in Norwich.
He graduated at the top of his class and worked briefly at Tasha’s Techniques in New Hartford. Business was slow there, however, and when he received a call from Kelly Foster, owner of Twisted Scissors in Cazenovia, offering him a space in her shop, he packed up his clippers and moved in.
“All I hear is that there’s no barber in town,” Foster said. “And I’ve always wanted to have a barber pole.” So when she heard that a barber was looking to open a shop in Cazenovia she called Fred and asked him to set up his chair.
But Hinderliter’s shop is more than just a chair and barber clippers. His shop harkens back to the authentic barber shops like he remembers visiting as a boy: he offers not just a haircut, but also a hot-lather, back-of-the-neck, straight-razor shave with every cut, a hot face towel for every customer, straight-razor shaves, butterfly razor shaves and beard and goatee trims. His main tool is the clipper, which is the authentic barber’s tool, rather than the scissors of a salon. His combs sit in a glass jar filled with blue Barbicide, and he offers the old-time favorite cologne and after shave brands of Clubman by Pinaud, Bay Rum and Jeris hair tonic.
“This is the stuff your father and grandfather use to use,” he said.
When Kevin Moffett, of New Woodstock, sat down in Fred’s chair last week, he immediately exclaimed, “You have Bay Rum! I remember going to the barber shop with my grandfather.”
Moffett said he saw Hinderliter’s sign outside the salon as he was leaving Tops grocery store and decided to come in. “Finally, there’s a barber shop in town,” he said.
And that, so far, has been the source of Fred’s business: the local male yearning for a barber and the prominence of his sign in a heavily-trafficked area. All of his business has been word-of-mouth so far — he has not even done any advertising yet.
“It’s just been great. People see the sign and stop in,” Foster said. “Probably 95 percent of his customers have never been in here before.”
Business has been so good so quickly, in fact, that Hinderliter, whose hours are Wednesday through Saturday said he is already thinking of opening up on Tuesdays. Foster said she is also thinking of removing her tanning beds — which get less usage now that Zoom Tan has opened up in the plaza — and possibly adding another barber to join Hinderliter.
And yes, there soon will be a red, white and blue barber pole in front of the shop, she added.
While Hinderliter is happy for the booming business and reception he’s receiving in Cazenovia, mainly, he said, he just feels blessed to be working in a profession he loves.
“It’s just been great. It’s a dream I never thought I’d be able to do,” he said.
Brett McKay, one of the creators of The Art of Manliness blog and co-author of the site’s related books, wrote in a post on “Rediscovering the Barber Shop” that the golden age for barbershops was the 1880s to 1940s. During that time, men socialized in all-male hangouts, and barbershops rivaled saloons in popularity. Visiting the barbershop was a weekly, and sometimes daily, habit. Men would stop in not only for a haircut and a shave, but also to fraternize with friends and chew the fat. The aromas of the leather and walnut chairs, hair tonic, cologne and tobacco would fill the shop. “The moment a man stepped inside, he was enveloped in the warm and welcoming familiarity. He was immediately able to relax, and as soon as the hot lather hit his face, his cares would simply melt away,” McKay wrote.
The authentic barber shop started to fade in popularity after World War II because of use-at-home haircut kits, longer men’s hairstyles needing less frequent trimming and the ubiquity of unisex salons. But the barber shop calls to men again today because it’s a man’s place where he can fraternize comfortably with other men; barbers are trained to know how to cut a man’s hair (where salon stylists are typically not); and there’s no place else to get a straight-razor shave. “You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the pleasures of a great shave at a barber,” McKay wrote. And of course, he concluded, every time you go to the barber shop, you come out just feeling manlier.
Read the complete blog post at artofmanliness.com/2008/05/20/rediscovering-the-barbershop.
Fred’s Barber Shop is open Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
Prices range from $3 for a beard or goatee trim, to $15 for a haircut to $30 for a haircut and straight-razor shave.
Call Twisted Scissors Hair and Tanning at 655-2298 for more information.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.