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Handshake Barber & Supply opens in Guntersville

There’s a new barbershop in town in Guntersville, and it’s not the usual high-and-tight barbering experience.

Handshake Barber & Supply opened in Arab three years ago. On March 15, owner Drew Godfrey will open his second location in Guntersville, located upstairs in a local shop and eatery, Bakers on Main. Much like the original shop, this one will offer the same spin on a classic community staple, or “a modern barbershop with an old school vibe,” as Godfrey called it.

Handshake Barber and Supply Arab/Facebook

While traditional barbershops might have gained a reputation for providing two or three classic men’s cuts – think flat top, combover and buzz cut – Godfrey said he likes to offer a bit more variety at Handshake.

“We still do hot straight razor shaves with hot towels and we’re really about what I call classic men’s haircuts or haircuts that looked good 100 years ago and they’re going to look good 100 years from now,” he explained. “But we have a pretty wide customer base. We like to say we can pretty much handle anything that comes through the door. We do the classics as well as scissor cuts and even the ‘Tik Tok haircut,’ as we call it. We try to be versatile.”

It’s not just about the cut at Handshake Barber, though, as the name entails. The client comes in for a haircut, but it’s the handshake that personifies the true barbershop experience.

“I believe that the barbershop is more than just a place to get a haircut,” Godfrey said. “There is a lot of life and community that happens in the barbershop. I like to say that it’s a place to meet new friends and catch up with old ones. It’s about community and relationships.”

Owner Drew and Barber Godfrey and Nate Pruett (Watkins/256 Today)

With a background in retail in the sporting goods industry, Godfrey knew he would open his own business at some point. It was while visiting a friend’s barbershop that the idea for Handshake began to unfold.

“I have a friend who owns a few barbershops in Alabama called Greasy Hands and sitting in his barbershop in Florence getting a haircut for the first time was when the lightbulb just kind of came on and I said, ‘You know, this is something I could be good at,’” he said.

It took nearly four years for everything to come together for Godfrey, including attending barber school for six months in New York City. He also visited other barbershops while traveling for work, tucking his ideas away until he was finally ready to pull the trigger.

“I tell people that barbering suits me,” he said. “I like people, and I like conversation. I think it scratched a creative side I never knew I had before. It’s really about people and relationships at the end of the day. That’s where my talents are, but I have also always kind of been into fashion and dressing well, so it’s all those things kind of coming together.”

Godfrey plans to offer additional retail at the shop. It will have more of a “men’s mercantile” feel and include traditional shaving and grooming items, as well as pocket knives and leather goods.

For an elevated barbering experience in North Alabama, make a point to stop by Handshake Barber & Supply. Appointments for both locations can be made online at Handshakebarbershop.com or through Handshake’s social media pages.

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