A Cut Above: Best of Winners The Cutting Room

There’s a barbershop on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and May Street that still champions a good shave with a straight razor – the simple single blade sharpened with a leather strap treatment. In fact, The Cutting Room Barber Salon devotes an entire portion of its business to this proven cosmetic ritual. Away from the hustle and bustle of its main barbershops is a solitary barber’s chair set up to provide customers with a private relaxing atmosphere while they enjoy an old-fashioned shave – the scent of balms afterwards -shaving and colognes float in the air.

In the main area of ​​the store are five hair salons with identical black upholstered chairs, each a mirror of the other, like desks in a classroom. But hair salons aren’t the only similarities between the store and a classroom. Created by barbers Richard and Vanessa Soto, The Cutting Room is also a training and collaboration center for barbers of all levels.

“We’ve been cutting hair since 2012 and, from the beginning, it’s always been a dog eat dog world,” says Richard. “When it comes to barbering, there are always some guys who are the best in the barbershop and they have all the clients, and they don’t want to teach you anything, and it’s kind of every man for himself.”

After five years of going to different hair salons separately, the Sotos decided to strike out on their own with a mission to create a store that embodies an educational environment.

“Since I went to cosmetology school, I’m more proficient at the job, and (Richard) is good at barbering and straight razor work,” Vanessa says. “Together we have created a very nice hybrid that complements different skills in the barber field.”

Soon after going it alone, the duo began packing customers into their small space in east Fort Worth. Finding themselves faced with a challenge that many business owners dream of, the Sotos set their sights on a new location that would help them meet their growing list of customers in a new part of town, the Near Southside. And when they saw the yellow brick facade of their current location, it was “love at first sight”.

After settling into their current location, the Sotos wasted no time implementing their pay-it-forward business style.

“Everywhere we went – ​​even the high-end places – they just have a certain style, a certain structure to the way they do things, and we thought we could do better and make a change,” says Richard. “(We have implemented) a culture where the ‘King Barber’ always gives back to new apprentices, ensuring they become stronger cutters and making us a place where everyone can trust our work because we work together as a company. team.”

In addition to giving you a haircut or shave, The Cutting Room also offers spa treatments like manicures, waxes, and anti-aging facials. The store is also known for its unique pricing structure based on experience levels, ranked from least expensive (noob) to most expensive (veteran). Customers can try a beginner at a discount or indulge in a barber who has met or exceeded the store’s various skill levels, six in all.

“We try to tell everyone that a lot of places are like professional hair salons,” says Vanessa. “They want to do 30- to 20-minute haircuts, and here we’re looking for quality over quantity. We don’t want to expel them. We want to make sure we give them the best they can get. »