When Michael Lucero was in high school, he made some extra money cutting his friends’ hair.
Now, 15 years later, he and his brother Moses, along with their best friend Sean Martinez, have their own shop. The Steel + Lather Barber Co is located in downtown Denver, just two blocks from Union Station.
All three are graduates of Emily Griffith Technical College’s Barbering program, where they learned not only a craft, but also a passion for the profession.
When you visit their shop — open to men, women, and children — you’re greeted like a guest, and not just a customer. You experience their pride in ownership and their enthusiasm for the work they do.
They said, “We wanted our own identity, not just to open another Joe’s Barbershop.”
The shop, which they designed themselves, is a combination of contemporary and retro styles.
Old-fashioned reclining barber chairs with headrests beckon to a gent who might like a close shave with hot lather and a straight-edged razor, like in the old movies. In fact, all haircuts finish up with warm lather and a back-of-the-neck razor trim.
Patrons who prefer sitting upright can get a traditional haircut, head shave, Mohawk, beard trim, or any possible variation in between.
They’ve only been open for seven months, but are 80-100% booked most days.
Once the shop neared completion, they notified friends and family members via social media, but also wore out a lot of shoe leather walking around the immediate neighborhood to hand out business cards.
“We continue to learn from one another,” Michael said. “You don’t go to school and not add additional skills later on. We leased this place for five years, with an option to renew for another five. We plan on being here for awhile.”