Since July of 2009, Mahwah resident Frank DiVivo has been working to make his barbershop a well-known spot in the township. He says that over the past three years, the community has “slowly embraced” on Miller Road.
“I live in the community, and I wanted to be a bigger part of it,” DiVivo said of his decision to open a shop in Mahwah. “In this business, people keep going to the same barber for 15 or 20 years, so you don’t build up a new customer base quickly. Men are creatures of habit.”
But, his neighbors are starting to become his customers. “At my other shop [in Park Ridge], it took about three to five years to really get going. We’re entering that phase now, and I see that people are finding and liking what we have to offer.”
The barbershop prides itself on attending to its customers and appealing to all ages, the owner said.
“Our haircuts and style are traditional, but the shop has more of a modern design, with a cleaner, sleeker look,” DiVivo said. “We cater to clients young and old. Because this is a dying industry, people will seek quality barbershops out. We’ve found that they are popular with kids and adults.”
According to customers, the experience in the chair is just as important as the haircut.
“You’re not rushed,” resident and customer Warren Lascar said. “Frank and [the shop’s other barber] Fred [DiSanto] take their time to cut your hair, and have great personalities. There’s good conversation here.”
Another customer, Jay Robertson, added that Frank’s “is a man’s shop. You walk in and see the sports pictures and fishing equipment on the walls, you have an immediate rapport with the other guys in here. As you get to talking you feel like, ‘Yea, I belong here.’”
DiVivo, who has worked in the industry for 25 years, says the customers are his favorite part of the job. “You meet people from all walks of life – neurosurgeons to garbage men and everything in between. It’s definitely a fun business.” DiVivo, who comes from a long line of barbers and hairdressers, said he’s having fun making connections with people in the community.
“At the end of the day, my name’s on the sign outside, so I take pride in what I do. I think that people in this town appreciate that.”