Mark-Jason Solofa's philosophy is that when you enter his barbershop, you are in for an experience. His men's grooming business — a tiny one-chair shop, less than 250 square-feet — is a "true gentleman's parlor," as he advertises. It's a place that offers clients "refuge and haven from the stresses and rigors of everyday living." It's an opportunity to go off the grid for an hour; he only sees eight or nine clients a day, allowing him to give them each the time they deserve. "The haircut is a byproduct of the experience," he said. There is a kind of nostalgia to his establishment, which resembles the traditional barbershops of the 1930s and '40s. Solofa specializes in classic and vintage cuts with clean lines, as well as straight razor shaves. And considering the personalized attention, his rates are pretty affordable — just $40-$50 for a haircut. His passion and energy may be a reflection of the fact that he only began pursuing this dream about six years ago, when he left a bank job after nearly two decades in the mortgage industry. By all accounts, it was a smart move. In addition to fielding more bookings that he can handle, Solofa has developed a popular social media presence, including an Instagram account (@mjsolofamensgrooming) with more than 5,000 followers.
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