I met my friends at The Neighborhood Barbershop sometime in the third quarter of 2016. I recall watching Dustin remodel the space that would become the warm and bustling barbershop that it is today. At that time it was dark, dusty, and barren looking. Jeremiah and I stopped over to say hi, welcome our new neighbors and offer any support we could. Dustin and Sarah were awesome from the start! Both stopped what they were doing to have a real conversation with us. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was a very pleasant encounter.
That relationship only continued to grow and soon I was starting everyday with coffee at The Shop with Dustin handwaving and discussing the most important topic of the day. One morning it was smelting aluminum to cast parts for the barber chairs and next the economics of running a small business. The Neighborhood Barbershop became a place to get ready to tackle the day, to recharge on good energy with good people.
When I stopped by Saturday to celebrate their one year anniversary with them I was struck by the community they had built out of an old print shop store front. They brought a rad feel of nostalgia to a an otherwise nondescript section of the Falls Church main drag. The nostalgia does not just come from the cool knick knacks and random tidbits, it’s the genuine smile and greeting when you walk in the door. The crew really wants to hear how you are doing when they say “Hey man, how ya doing?” Crazy, right?! They had a barbershop quartet, “Two Ton Twig” a local bluegrass band and and the kick-ass cake you see in the main image!
Building community is no small thing. You can’t “build community” actually, the statement is a bit of a misnomer. Community builds itself. You create a great space for people to gather, then you fill it with cool people that other people want to be around, and then give them a reason to come. Over time the community defines itself and, if you are good and really lucky, you get what we have here…a thriving community of freaking great people trying to make their little slice of the world better one awesome haircut and shave at a time. My hat is off to Dustin and the team at The Neighborhood Barbershop. And in classic Barbershop style, the raffle of cool donated swag benefited children with cancer.
Stop in, have a cup of coffee, talk about some cool stuff and if you are of a mind to, “get a haircut you bum!”
Tell Dustin I said “Hi”, be well.