Recently, I've been writing about businesses that have been in West Orange for a long, long time. This week, I'm happy to report on a newcomer to the West Orange business community.
I've passed it on Northfield Avenue many times. The storefront is crisp and bright. Sharp yellow and burgundy graphics tell you all you need to know, and the most important information is found in the name. When are they open? The 8 to 8 Barber Shop tells you right up front. "Home of the $8 haircut" is the slogan, and in case you forget, even the phone number ends in three eights.
I spoke to owner Jason Robinson, who opened the shop in April of 2011. Robinson became a barber back in 1988, and then went on to work in other industries. "I worked in real estate, pharmaceuticals, mostly in sales," he said.
Then California residents, Robinson and his wife moved to New Jersey about 10 years ago. It was then that Robinson came back to doing what he loves most, being a barber. But it wasn't until this year that he opened his own shop.
8 to 8 Barber Shop offers salon treatments with the feel of an old-time neighborhood barber shop. Robinson wanted to create a "family place" that "allows people to come in and feel comfortable." I asked him about the name. "The most important thing to know about a barber shop is when they are open. Our name says it all."
In keeping with the modernity of Robinson's shop, 8 to 8 has a stylish website, a Facebook page, and they offer a membership program offering special pricing and services for members through email.
Robinson told me about a program he's working on for the upcoming school year. He wants to partner with athletic directors at local schools and start a "Player of the Week" program, wherein each week's chosen player can come in for a free haircut and get their picture up on the wall of the shop.
Not only does 8 to 8 cater to men, offering hot towel shaves, cut and color; they offer a lot for women, too: cut, color, eyebrow arching, keratin treatments and manicures. They also cut kids' hair, starting at just $8, complete with motorcycle to sit on and cartoons to watch. Prices are very reasonable and are all listed on their website here. Their specialty is working with all kinds of hair types.
So how is business going for this nearly five-month old business? "Our business is increasing every month. We have a lot of repeat customers," Robinson reported.
With its pleasant, friendly, neighborhood feel, reasonable prices and wide range of services for the whole family, 8 to 8 Barber Shop may be new, but it's got all the ingredients to become a staple of the West Orange business community.
8 to 8 Barber Shop is located at 14 Northfield Avenue, between Wheeler and Valley Streets in downtown West Orange.