January 17, 2020

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WILL A BARBERSHOP MEMBERSHIP BECOME YOUR 2020 NECESSITY?



Is it a “nice to have” or a “need to have?”


This is a question that a lot of us ask ourselves each January when examining our monthly reoccurring bills after paying off the holidays. 


That Disney + subscription seemed like a good idea in October. But you’ve seen all eight episodes ofThe Mandalorian and are left with nothing new but the live reboot ofLady and the Tramp. This is now barely a “nice to have.” On the other side of the coin, after month of gluttony and avoiding the treadmill (and the mirror), you’ve caught a glimpse of yourself. That gym membership is officially a “need to have.”


Between rent, car payments, internet, cable, insurance, and any of a number of streaming and delivery services, do you really need another monthly bill? Artisan Barber’s founder Charlie McCoy thinks so. In fact, he’s banking that the fees from his new membership service (which will be a hybrid product fulfilment plan, grooming service station, and social club) will barely be felt by members. 


Launching this winter, Artisan Barber Club’s membership are made up of three levels, each priced by budget. Silver level members will pay equal or slightly less than a single monthly service, gratuity and product that they will receive. Gold memberships are priced for men who come into the shop more frequently. Platinum members receive unlimited service.


“The aim of Artisan Barber Club is to make the barbershop experience exclusive, unique, fun, and above all, easy,“ McCoy says. “Our loyal customers are already paying for services and products each month. We’ve just streamlined the process and thrown in some fun stuff to thank them for choosing Artisan Barber.”


The idea of a grooming experience membership service isn’t new. DryBar’s unlimited blowout service has kept women runway-ready at a moment’s notice for years. On the male end, barbershop chain John Allan’s has offered grooming club memberships since the late 1980s. But as a start-up, McCoy’s model for Artisan Barber Club appears less geared towards the common denominator of guys who need their hair cut regularly, and more focused on the tastes of existing clients who have made his brand an overnight success since opening his first shop on the Upper East Side in 2017.

 


McCoy’s inspiration for Artisan Barber’s unique brand membership service has its roots in century-old social clubs like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago’s Union League, where grooming is among the amenities that members enjoy. “I just put the amenity in the front window, so to speak,” McCoy says. “And in place of red velvet curtains and a snooker table, I’ve put up the latest in contemporary art and a vintage arcade game. It’s like the Union League for guys who shop at Supreme.”

On top of streamlined front-of-the-line reservation service that members will receive by using the mobile app, Artisan Barber Club members will enjoy complimentary libations during their visits, and advance access invitations to Artisan Barber events. One such event is the upcoming Winter Collective Art Show set for Saturday, January 25th featuring local artists. Outside of being great parties, these events will benefit A|B’s Save The Future Fund – a subsidy set up to support community outreach and support local charities.


“The events are a core perk to our members,” McCoy says. “In my years working as a barber, I’ve seen countless friendships and business relationships forged. A barbershop is a very special space. My aim is to extend that experience beyond the chair and mirror.”


While it remains to be seen whether a membership to the Artisan Barber Club will be a nice to have or a need to have, McCoy is confident that his clients will say “both.”

“You need to get your hair cut,” he says. “Why not make it nice?”