After about two years working for FedEx in Sacramento, Marcos Solis moved back to his hometown of Chico without much of a plan. The 34-year-old had gone to Butte College for counseling, but hadn’t found steady work in that field. A single father, Solis said he needed to make a change and started working with his younger brother, Danny, who had just opened his own barbershop (Danny’s Barbershop, 544 Broadway). Solis said initially he didn’t see a future in cutting hair, but his family inspired him to grab some clippers and take a chance. In December, he opened Gentlemen’s Barbershop in downtown Chico a few blocks down from his brother’s place. The shop is staffed by experienced barbers, Solis said, people he grew up with and trusts. They offer cuts for all ages, give haircut advice and can use a straight razor on your beard or lineup. Swing by the shop (at 151 Broadway), check out @gentlemens_barbershop on Instagram, or visit www.gentlemensbarbershop151.com for more info.
What made you want to open your own shop?
When I was younger, I wasn’t the perfect son to my parents or father to my daughter. It took me a year or two to wake up and figure out that I’m a dad now and I’m getting old—you gotta do something right to show your daughter who you are. For that I thank my parents, my brother and my sister.
Now that school’s been back, we’ve been rockin’ ’n’ rollin’. The good thing about my barbers are they are not new to this. They have been in this area for a while, were born and raised in this area, so they have a strong clientele. They don’t have to worry about walk-ins; it’s more [by appointment].
Who’s your typical client?
We’re downtown. We are next to Chico State. Seventy percent of our clientele and walk-ins are students. We have more of the younger, urban people coming in here … but we take care of anybody from 6- to 10-year-olds to 60-, 70-year-olds.
How many people come in off the street and have no idea what they want?
Half, 50 percent. Right now, for some reason, the barber trend is growing quickly. There are a lot of new hair styles going on. Most of my barbers went to school and have cut hair for one to two years and can give you an idea—“I think this hairstyle would look better on you,” or “I think you should take this much off the top.”
What sets Gentlemen’s apart from other barbershops?
We have a DJ every Friday just to have a little kick back, make you feel good, thank God it’s Friday, you know what I mean? We serve beer, champagne, we have it all. We take care of everything.