Cody Garrett would like to keep his DeLand barbershop on the downlow. He doesn’t advertise and, at the moment, only accepts walk-ins. Guys put their name on a chalk board, are given a time estimate and then can sit on one of the old wooden benches and wait.
But waiting is a part of the experience Garrett wants his customers to have.
Garrett opened RustyRazor Barbershop in late summer 2015 after working for another barber across town. A mostly self-taught barber, he’s been cutting hair for a dozen years and says there’s a true art in what he does. He specializes in facial hair grooming and all traditional haircuts with a new school twist.
His shop is located in the back room of BeardsBathBeauty Soaphouse Co. on East New York Avenue. For three months, Garrett worked around the clock to transform the space, which he said was two separate storage units.
There’s nothing pretentious about the shop. Garrett used a mixture of raw and reclaimed materials to build out the shop and slapped some black paint on the walls and ceiling to give the place a speakeasy vibe. An American flag hangs on the shingled wall, antiques are randomly placed in nooks and crannies, and a red curtain across the window can be drawn to give the shop an even more intimate feeling.
Garrett says he set out to have a small, laid-back barbershop with a small loyal clientele that hardly anyone knew about.
But word about the RustyRazor traveled quickly and now there can be really long waits for the chair. During peak times, Garrett says both of the benches can be full with some guys even waiting outside.
He wants potential customers to know the experience you get at the RustyRazor is nothing like those chains in the neighborhood strip mall. It’s not quick service. Garrett takes his time with each client so they walk out feeling good about themselves and the time they’ve invested. It makes for very satisfied customers who keep coming back.
In the hallway hangs a guitar. Sometimes, Garrett says a client will pick it up and start to play, treating everyone in the shop to an impromptu jam session. But even when there’s no music, he says there’s always good conversation, just like the barbershops from 50 years ago where men would come to shoot the breeze while getting a cut or a shave.
And it’s that throwback to a simpler time that Garrett says is part of the RustyRazor experience.
But he realizes his original concept for the shop will need to evolve. It already is. He’s working on getting a reservation system up and running to keep up with the heavy demand.