[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
YOUNGSTOWN — Hair Barber and Beauty, 34 Steel St., is a newly established pay-by-day salon for Ohio licensed barbers, hairstylists, make-up artists, braiders, estheticians and massage therapists to rent space on an as-needed basis.
Antonio Owens, owner of Hair B&B, started his barber career in 2012 and is currently a barber at his cousin’s business, In the Cut Barber Shop, but said he wanted to create a space for other stylists who don’t have access to a salon on a regular basis.
“I really wanted people to get out of their basements and their kitchens and their living rooms … especially professionals and people with licenses. You went to school for so long and you want your license to reflect your professionalism,” he said. “I want somebody to have a safe place to go to take their clients and be able to prosper.”
Owens told Mahoning Matters that Hair B&B allows new stylists a place to grow their clientele before committing full time to a salon. It also allows stylists with other jobs to book around their schedule and gives veteran stylists the opportunity to see their clients on their own terms.
“It'll give you a little bit of a grace period, maybe a three-four month grace period, where you could build your clientele or you could have your clients come whenever you plan for,” he said.
Those who have “been in the game for a long time” with a few regular clients “could just use [Hair B&B] at their leisure,” he added.
Hair B&B provides two salon chairs, hairdryers and massage tables. Stylists and estheticians — who provide treatments such as facials, makeup applications and hair removal — are required to bring their own tools and products, but Owens said he plans to offer hair care products for stylists to purchase in the future.
Owens told Mahoning Matters that each stylist and esthetician sets their prices for their clients, and that is not determined by Hair B&B.
Additionally, Owens said he tries to bring business to stylists who use the salon on a regular basis and encourages Hair B&B to be a space for stylists to network with each other.
“Every single person has their own business. What I've been doing lately, aside from that, is offering my phone number to whoever. So say, for instance, you're searching for a stylist and say, ‘Hey, Antonio, I'm looking for a stylist, is there any way you can contact [them] for me?’ and I'll go ahead and put them in [in touch] with the people who've been booking the place already. In some ways, it's almost like a funnel system to be honest,” he said.
To lease space, Hair B&B costs $55 a day for barbers, hairstylists and braiders and $85 a day for estheticians and massage therapists.
“[Estheticians and massage therapists] need to have the building to themselves because it's like a privacy thing. So they have to pretty much rent both chairs, basically, for the whole entire day,” Owens explained. He has run a discount promotion every month this year to encourage stylists to check out the space. In March, Hair B&B is $37 per day for everybody if they book using the code HBD37.
Hairstylists and estheticians can book the space through Hair B&B’s website, www.hairbarbernbeauty.com, or the app, under Hair B&B or Hair Barber and Beauty, available to both Apple and Android users in the app store and can pay using PayPal or Square.
“They can go on our website, or download the app, and they can book at their leisure. So they don't ever have to call me, they don't ever have to see me. I give them a passcode to the door to the electronic lock and they can just enter whenever they want. So it’s a very safe, very clean environment,” he said.
Hair B&B opened in November of 2020, but Owens said he’s already looking to move to a more spacious location.
“There will be an expansion here soon to another building. I just wanted to see how this model worked first,” he said. “I have so many ideas for Hair B&B, like how I plan to expand and how I plan and build onto the format that I have now.”
“It's a new concept. I've researched all over and there's nothing exactly like this. I just really want people to receive it and just to try it out, check it out and just see if it works for [them],” he added.