There are countless ways to define success from solid ownership and collaborative team members, having strong core values and innovative products that perform time and time again.
At Detroit Grooming Company, we define success, not by revenue, units sold nor how many followers we have on Instagram. To our small but mighty team, success lies in the relationships built, and the trust our customers and partners place into our hands.
Our success lies in our commitment to focus on each and every detail, whether it’s hunting down and using only the finest ingredients, the painstaking details put into designing every label, or day-to-day tasks like taking the time to personally respond to each customer. But one detail that simply can’t be overlooked when we talk about the success of DGC is our incredible retail partners.
In the last 8 years, so many amazing retailers have joined our ever-growing team: high-end salons, state-of-the-art studios, premiere barbershops, worldwide online distributors, unique Michigan-made gift shops – just to name a few.
We’re honored and humbled each time a new shop chooses to sport the DGC brand and we wanted to find a way to support the people that support us – a way for us to show off and take pride in our partners like they take pride in representing us.
With that, we are elated to announcethenext chapter in Detroit Grooming Co. history:The Detroit Grooming Society.
Composed of a team of talented barbers and stylists who embody our core values and have a passion for our products arguably as strong as we do, The Detroit Grooming Society members were chosen because of their unwavering alignment with our vision.
Unique in their own styles and personalities, each of these Grooming Specialists are steadfast in their representation of themselves and our brand. On camera or off, through social media or cutting behind the chair, these professionals are nothing less than consistent and we are honored to have them on our team.
So, without further ado, let us introduce to you the Detroit Grooming Society Inaugural Class:
Hailing from Warren, Michigan, Loren Papasian has spent 11 years in the industry as a barber, but has long loved the craft. “I've always wanted to work with hair,” says Loren, who was inspired to take up the trade after collecting and restoring vintage straight razors as a hobby, “There is nothing quite like creating something every half hour to 45 minutes.”
While Loren doesn’t collect or restore straight razors these days, he’s still excited to use them every day in his shop. At Old 13 Barber Company, Loren focuses on functionality.
“I just cut hair, nothing fancy. My goal for every haircut is to make it so my client can style their own hair,” says Loren.
Owner of Old Gold Barber Shop, Jeremy Rauch says there are a million things that inspired him to become a barber, “Classic culture, the way I felt after a haircut and the interactions I had with barbers throughout my life played a huge role.”
But one interaction in particular stands out. “The first time I set out to get a real haircut on my own I ended up going to a barber who had just taken over a shop from a retiring barber. He was busy, happy and really seemed to enjoy his job,” recalls Jeremy, “Once I realized how much opportunity and freedom barbers had I knew it was for me.”
In the last seven years, Jeremy says he’s come to realize his favorite thing about barbering is the daily challenge and reward that comes with the trade. At his shop in Denver, Colorado, Jeremy specializes in classic hairstyles and structures that are wearable and versatile.
Strictly sticking to styling men’s hair for over a decade now, Aubrey says she loves every bit of her job. “Every cut leaves no room for error and it's always fun when a client wants to switch up their usual look to something new,” she explains.
Aubrey’s inspiration to join the industry came from her own stylist and the amazing feeling she left with after every visit. “You can really change the way someone feels by changing their look and/or just letting them vent to you,” says Aubrey, “It could be as simple as tapering in their bushy beard and finishing it off with your favorite Detroit Grooming beard butter or just simply giving them an honest listening ear.”
When it comes to her craft, Aubrey says tight fades and cleaned up beards are her favorites, specifically a clean bald fade into a style top. You can look professional and ready to rock it out no matter what time of the day,” says Aubrey. “A tight tapered beard with the cut pulls the whole look together, whether it is short or long.”
Founder, operator, and stylist alongside his team at Forefathers Grooming, Ryan Dieteker has spent over 10 years in the industry, eight focusing on men’s hair.
With his 20 years of experience in customer service in the restaurant business, Ryan sought out to start a company that “strives for education, leadership, and culture from the team that works for us to the clients that we have an opportunity to serve.” Ryan is dedicated to educating his team – allowing them to educate their clients on how to achieve results at home.
Attention to detail is what elevates Forefathers from the industry, explains Ryan, “I found through my own experiences that there wasn’t a place that focused on satisfaction and detail orientation in the way of men’s grooming.”
Ryan says his focus is to create a place that fosters growth for his team members, “Where my employees can thrive and achieve greatness within their field and in their personal lives as well.” A true leader, Ryan’s specific areas of study include product knowledge, clipper fading, shear cutting and beard maintenance – both the why and how.
While relatively new to the industry, graduating from West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty in fall 2019, Oakley Stevens is a lifetime lover of the craft. With a grandfather who worked as a barber and hairdresser, inspiration was inevitable. “I have always been extremely interested about hair and about the entire atmosphere of the barber shop and the lifestyle of a barber,” says Oakley.
This interest followed Oakley throughout his life – and inspired him to open his own shop after college. “While I was in high school I had a vision to open my own barber shop that would put a modern twist on classic hairstyles,” he explains, “We had an immense amount of salons in my hometown, but we were lacking a barber shop that my generation and the generations to come could connect with.”
That’s what Stevens Bros. Barber Co. is, says Oakley, a modern-classic. True to style, Oakley specializes in classic cuts. “Old school side-parts and gentlemen contours are some of my favorites and I have found that the same is true with beards,” he says, “The classic beard shapes that have stood the test of time are the styles that make up most of my portfolio.”