Feels Like Home (SLC)

She’d never even been to Utah.
A big salty lake? OK.
Mountains? Nice.
Barber school? Perfect.

Dani sweeping in front of her barbershop

Daniela had been dreaming about being a barber since she was a small girl in Maine. She’d watch her grandfather and the other men in town going in and out of the local shop and think, “that looks nice. They’re happy in there.” But then she’d tell herself that it wasn’t for her. Men only.

Years later in a high school business class, Daniela’s semester project was all about opening a barbershop. But that idea was also deferred. College and a more conventional life beckoned.

Fast forward…Daniela was living outside the US, wondering what was next for herself. Again, the idea of her own barbershop dominated her thoughts. But the only barber school that met her needs was in Utah.

After finally opening Garrett Michael Barbershop in downtown Salt Lake City, Daniela’s marketing budget limited her to sweeping her front sidewalk, chatting up passersby and offering a shave, a cut, a trim. Anything to get them into the chair and maybe come back again. One of those early passersby was local writer, Jeremy Pugh, the editor of Salt Lake Magazine.

Looking outside from Garrett Michael Barbershop

Proraso joined Jeremy and Daniela for a shave and a beard trim while these loyal friends shared how they’ve helped each other build their businesses, shaped their community and made each other laugh. A lot.

Daniela and Jeremy laughing during their Proraso interview

Here are some of the highlights:

On their first meeting:

Jeremy: “Randomly, I was walking down the street and she was out sweeping. She pulled me into the shop and gave me a neck shave and a hot towel.”

Daniela: “That was my marketing strategy!”

On Jeremy’s grooming habits:

Jeremy: “I had to learn how to get my hair and beard cut.”

Daniela: “Yeah, because this (touches her chin) was wild. You were straight grizzly!”

Jeremy: “Uhm, yeah. I didn’t have a plan at all…”

Daniela and Jeremy chatting during their Proraso interview

On launching Garrett Michael Barbershop:

Jeremy: “I did this story in the magazine called ‘The Art of Man’ and included your shop.”

Daniela: “When that came out, the phone would not stop ringing. People would drive by, they would stop in. And I would always say, ‘How did you find me?’ And it was that article.” So now, almost nine years later, when you come in, I always say, ‘This is the guy who helped launch to where we are today.”

Dani on what Jeremy brings to their community:

“You’re a storyteller. You tell stories. Your book about Salt Lake, your vision about what Salt Lake is and what it could be. You bring so much value to our community. There wasn’t really a downtown. You’ve been focusing on that with your stories, the magazine and your book.”

Daniela on what’s next:

“Ideas. I love ideas. And chickens on the roof.” 

Daniela's chickens, AKA "The Girls": Big Red, Double D, and Sophia

Watch and shop this and more Proraso Stories here.

When in Salt Lake City, don't miss a cut and shave at Garrett Michael Barbershop, located at 435 E 300 S, SLC. To book, give them a call at 801.359.4580.