Getting a haircut is a relatively standardized process for many, regardless of gender. One phones or walks in to make an appointment at their favorite salon or barbershop. If there is a wait, you usually have the option of reading a magazine, watching TV, listening to the radio or possibly walking around the area.
While many have come to accept this as part of the hair-cutting process, one local man in town wanted something different.
"Being prior military, I know a lot of the guys on base don't have a specific stylist, so they would have to walk around the mall for two hours while waiting for their (hair) appointment," said Joshua Blackaby, owner of the newly opened Shear Sports Salon in the Prairie Rose Plaza. "(When Blackaby was stationed at Minot Air Force Base) I always thought it would be cool to be able to watch some TV or play a game while you waited."
It was his desire for something more and a chance meeting on vacation that Shear Sports Salon, which combines the services of a hair salon with the atmosphere of a sports bar, was born.
While vacationing in Cancun recently, Blackaby met a man who worked at a barbershop that offered their patrons a complimentary adult beverage while waiting for their appointment.
"I had never heard of that before and thought it was a very cool idea so I decided to run with it and being a huge ML (Major League) baseball fan, I knew what direction I wanted to go," he said.
That direction includes life-size images, jerseys and other memorabilia from the stars of every major U.S. sport plastered on the walls, a pool table, leather sofa and three large high-definition TVs that show sports exclusively.
While the decor and atmosphere might resemble a sports bar more than a salon, Shear Sports is a full-service salon that offers men, women and children's haircuts and coloring, tanning beds, waxing and will offer professional massage sessions in the coming weeks.
In the first month since the salon opened on June 15, Blackaby said the salon averaged seven to eight haircuts per day.
"I can't complain, business has been great, especially since we didn't do any advertising it was all word of mouth," he said. "Starting a business is always a gamble, but I think people are looking for something different and no other place offers what we do."
With the first month of business under his belt, Blackaby's focus has turned to marketing.
Using his experience as president of the Leads Division of Generation X-Solutions, an Internet marketing solutions company, Blackaby has begun advertising with traditional media avenues such as radio, TV and newspapers, as well as new social media networks like Facebook.
"Facebook is really the key (to our marketing) because that's the age group that we are targeting," he said. "All of our friends and groups can see what we have going on (as far as specials) and can leave comments for others to see."
In the week since the Facebook page was established, Shear Sports already has more than 230 friends.
To commemorate the opening of the store and to honor its theme, Blackaby said he and his staff are planning a grand opening celebration to take place at the beginning of the football season this fall and plan to add other amenities such as wireless Internet in the near future.