Paul Trowbridge's path to business began in his hometown of Battle Creek, wound its way to Lansing, took a detour down south, and cut back to Lansing again.
"When I first got back, I noticed this area needed a barber shop," says Trowbridge, owner of Cuttin Up Barber Shop
in REO Town. "There was one here years ago and I wanted to bring it back."
Since opening in November 2012, Trowbridge's business at 1135 S. Washington has steadily grown from a clientele he nurtured through a decade of Lansing barbering experiences, including his previous shop, Barber Love. And with REO Town's rebirth, Cuttin Up has experienced a mild uptick, allowing Trowbridge to lay plans for new staff and increased civic-engagement.
Beginning in 2014, Trowbridge will add at least one licensed barber to his staff of three. He's also looking to sponsor a day-of-service for military veterans, and to continue programs that benefit the Lansing Area AIDS Network.
With a modest budget and lots of muscle, Trowbridge transformed the 1,000-square foot space previously occupied by Betty's Buttons by putting in a new floor, liberating brick walls from plaster, updating lighting, and furnishing with refurbished fixtures and chairs.
"There's nothing cosmetologist about it," says Trowbridge. "It's truly a man's shop, and a place where guys can come and let their hair down."
But then he pauses.
"Of course, if a woman comes in with her son for his haircut, we're friendly," he says, adding that he might cut the mom's hair, too, if she asked. "We're building lots of ties with families and businesses in the area. We want to be here for the long haul."
Source: Paul Trowbridge, Owner, Cuttin Up Barber Shop
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development Editor