It was one year ago, this past week, that this new and modern take on a local barber shop opened up in Brighton Center. When generating a list of businesses to highlight during our Season of Giving, Matt’s Barber Shop was brought up numerous times. I had never been to the shop, so I wanted to make sure I had an idea of what I was going to find when I sat down to speak with the owner. It was often said in conversations leading up to speaking with Matt that, “This isn’t just your standard barber shop.”
Matt and Liz cutting hair while being interviewed and music plays in the background.
I met up with Brandon, a frequent client and friend of the owner of Matt’s Barber Shop to get some background on this relatively new business. “I have known Matt for about four years now. We met through the local music scene in Allston-Brighton. He is a musician too, when he isn’t cutting hair.” Brandon shared that whenever he is in this part of the neighborhood, he stops into the shop. It is not just to get a haircut and have a chat with his friend, but because the great conversations and people he crosses paths within the shop. “It really is such a welcoming environment in Matt’s Barber Shop. You see people that are young, old, different ethnicities, men, women, and anyone who really just wants a space to be themselves and simply get a haircut. There was this one time at the shop that sticks out for me. A woman came in with her son, and he clearly had special needs with sensory sensitivities. Liz, one of the barbers, showed a level of patience with cutting this kid’s hair that you really only see on TV.”
Pictured left to right (Matt, Brandon and Liz).
We headed to Matt’s Barber Shop after we wrapped up our conversation. Walking in to the shop, there was a queue of clients waiting for their haircut. While these customers waited, Matt and Liz kept the conversation light and funny with everyone, not just with the client in their chairs, and music was playing on the record player. I asked Matt what it was that inspired him to open up his own shop. “I have been cutting hair for 17 years, and 11 of those years have been in Brighton. I became motivated to open up my own shop with the mindset that ‘if you build it, they will come’...you hope.” Liz chimed in adding, “Besides giving someone a great haircut, we want to provide a comfortable space and experience, kind of like a clubhouse.” When it comes to their clients, it started off with regulars from Matt’s long career but the amount of new customers that they have gained and that continue to keep coming back was unexpected and has allowed Matt to start looking for someone to cover a third chair in the shop. What Matt highlights though is the generational component of his clients. “I have clients who come into the shop that share with me that I gave them their first haircut, and we’ve even started to get some second generation clients now that some are starting their families. It is really rewarding and wild to see!” When I mentioned to Matt, Brandon’s comment on his business being “modern barber shop,'' he agreed. “This is definitely a not-your-father’s barber shop! When you think of a barber shop, there is a pretty routine image that comes to mind. What we want to make here, is something completely different.” Help Brighton Main Streets by considering the Power of Giving Ten.