Recapturing the Lost Art of Barbering
It’s true—barbershops might seem a little anachronistic in our age of super speedy, uber-techno conveniences. After all, we’re of such a busy, stressful mindset, we, the American public, have demanded that the multitude of hair-cutting chains follow suit to keep up with the insatiable need of our get in/get out lifestyle.
But there seems to be a critical piece missing from this equation: the personal touch.
Torn from the pages of those bygone days is the iconic striped blue and red double helix, a nostalgic image that signified comfort and familiarity. After all, the hub of small-town America revolved around the town barber and generally a few locals who seemed to enjoy a little respite—and gossip—from the everyday grind. Also lost in this influx of modernity is that rite of passage associated with a barbershop, a place that symbolized a generational bond between father and son, one that chronicled the passage of time through a series of haircuts.
If you are looking to recapture a little piece of fleeting Americana, look no further than Shear Madness. Owners/partners Sam and Steve Burd and Jac Cramer along with fellow barber Ryan Straub, have combined forces to bring back the barbershop ambiance of yesteryear. While meeting at Boise Barber College, the would-be partners were able to open a place of their own, located near the busy nexus of Fairview and Cole, and have been diligently spiffing up the men of the Treasure Valley since July 2011.
Their mission: To reconnect, to build friendships and to provide a safe harbor from the stressors of our modern world.
“It’s the personal touch,” Sam says. “We make them comfortable, joke with them. When they come here, they’re like family.”
The decor within their shop is in keeping with the theme of small town barbershops, complete with a timeline of antique barber chairs, each one from a different era, and a roomful of vintage American collectibles. Note: if you are hooked on your local sports channel or need to know the latest Twitter feed or news headlines, you might be a little disappointed by the stark absence of a TV. However, if you are looking to discuss the merits of your favorite sports team versus the varying allegiances from the trio of barbers, you will find plenty of that.
What happens when we aren’t distracted by the instant 24/7-ness of our world? Connections happen, sharing life moments happens, friendships happen.
“We had a young man come in who, after graduating high school, was returning from Marine boot camp,” Jac says. “After waiving his bill, I told him it was an honor and a privilege to give him his first official Marine haircut. I told him, ‘You just stay safe, that’s payment enough.’”
Engaging customers and building connections is what Shear Madness is all about.
“We share milestone events with our customers, from funerals to graduations and weddings. We are not here to get through to the next customer,” Steve says. “We take the time to serve their needs.”
Shear Madness welcomes walk-ins from all walks of life. No appointment is necessary.
Shear Madness! Barbershop
7007 W. Fairview Ave.
Boise, ID 83704