Experience Sarasota: Barbershop 941
Barbershop 941 offers is a classic haircut, pure and simple.
For men of a certain age and the generation of callow youth following their father’s hirsute footsteps, Barbershop 941 offers memories of the past and an introduction to the scissor sharp rituals of the future.
Co-owned by Rudy Wetley and situated on the corner of Swift and Proctor, he says Barbershop 941 offers an inviting, unique atmosphere.
“At this barber shop," he said, “I want to promote a family orientated, old school feel that you won’t experience in any other barbershop. Some of my customers have visited other barbershops that claim to offer family values, but they just don’t. The talk among customers wasn’t appropriate in front of kids, or single moms would get hit on in front of their children. But when moms and dads come in here with their children they know my shop offers a more comfortable atmosphere.”
Wetley also is emphatic that what he offers is a classic haircut, pure and simple. There are no frills or salon experiences to be had when you walk through the door of Barbershop 941.
“There are other places that offer services such as waxing or massages, but I don’t consider myself in that class,” Wetley said. “They’re not my competition because it’s a different feel here. You might go to a salon and sit wait in a waiting room that’s separate from where the action is, it’s a little more reserved.
“At Barbershop 941, though, I want laughter and fun with everybody talking.”
But first and foremost for Wetley is a sense of belonging to a community. That, he says, rewards him both personally and professionally.
“Someone asked me the other day if I thought about moving downtown. I said, “I don’t think so. Because I wouldn’t be a neighborhood business, I’d be anonymous. But here, people know me as the local barber and I’m cool with that.”
Although the Chicago native wouldn’t describe himself as a perfectionist, he has a steely determination to work only with barbers who possess the skills far beyond the typical stylist based in a strip mall.
“People that I hire are very good barbers,” he offered. Sometimes people will come in looking for a job here and they tell me they know this person or had worked at this place. I typically say, ‘OK, but that doesn’t tell me much. I want to personally see what you got and how you cut.
“I don’t care where you work or who you know, that’s got nothing to do with working here.
“So, you’re not going to cut anybody who walks in my door until I can see that you can cut. I need to have quality. That’s one my main issues.”