MOORHEAD—The owner of a new business doesn't like to call it a barbershop—he wants customers to know they'll find something different here.
Tailor Made Barber Studio and Aesthetics opened Oct. 17 in Moorhead Center Mall, 420 Center Ave., offering up haircuts, straight-razor shaves and beard grooming. But it's the other services here that make it stand out, according to Owner Brendan LaFrance.
He's a well-known barber, gaining a local following since 2008 when he opened Skill Cutz Barbershop with business partner Wil Dort.
His wife, Leane LaFrance, is a licensed cosmetologist who works at the new business with a small staff that also includes a hair stylist with experience at men's salons and a licensed hair braider.
Leane LaFrance said that combination of backgrounds means the business can provide haircuts to both men and women in addition to other grooming services that go a step beyond the average barbershop—a main goal of her husband's and the reason he went solo.
"I just wanted to do something different," he said.
'Up a notch'
Leane LaFrance said the new business aims to offer "upscale" services like facials and waxing. She said men appreciate waxing to rid themselves of the dreaded unibrow, though it can also help clean up the beard line or smooth out the ears and nose. Bikini or Brazilian waxing is also available.
That's just the first step to do something different with the new business, according to LaFrance.
"That's one thing that we're trying to do is bring men's grooming up a notch and keep up-to-date with it," he said.
He said he was ready for a change after Skill Cutz because he wanted to get out of a fast-paced environment so he could get to know his customers and spend time styling, not just cutting, their hair.
His wife described his approach as "cosmetologist ideology with the skill of a barber."
LaFrance also has a chance to try completely new services, such as scalp micropigmentation .
"In basic terms, it's making tattoos on the head that mimic the look of hair follicles for balding men," he said.
The process can also help women with thinner hair cover up the scalp or mask scars from hair transplants, he said. Microblading, a shallow series of tattooed hair strokes to permanently fill in thin eyebrows, is roughly the same idea for the eyebrows.
Those procedures that can start at $300 for microblading and rise well above $1,000 for micropigmentation won't be offered in Moorhead. Instead, LaFrance said he plans to rent a suite in a Fargo salon in the coming weeks to open Tailor Made Aesthetics and offer unique services.
Until then, Leane LaFrance said they hope the Moorhead studio will give local men another option where they won't find a loud football game on TV or get the same haircut as the guy next to them.
"There's nothing wrong with that way of doing business, but what we have found is that not everybody wants that," she said.
LaFrance said more people are coming in with specific ideas of what they want to try, often showing him a picture on their phone of a new trend.
That's why he chose the name Tailor Made, a moniker he said is all about providing custom cuts, styles and services that fit each customer's lifestyle. A man who doesn't want to fuss with a lot of styling won't get a complicated, labor-intensive cut, for example.
LaFrance said he'll make sure the business stays focused on providing good service and upscale experiences, no matter its success in the future.
"We're kind of doing the passion over profit model with this," he said.
What: Tailor Made Barber Studio and Aesthetics
Where: Moorhead Center Mall, 420 Center Ave., Moorhead
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (also available for appointments 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday)
Phone: (218) 284-1600