Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Blake’s Barbershop is a cut above

Nov 02, 2023 11:29AM ● By Braden Nelsen
A classic look and feel to match the classically trained barbers greets clients at Blake’s Barbershop. Photo by Braden Nelsen.

A classic look and feel to match the classically trained barbers greets clients at Blake’s Barbershop. Photo by Braden Nelsen.

BOUNTIFUL—Starting a small business can be daunting enough but add on top of that a 180 career change and many would be tempted to give up. Not Blake Densley, however. The Bountiful local made just that leap nine years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Born and raised in Bountiful, Blake Densley spent much of his career not in the barber shop, but “in banking and finance for a decade.” In the span of those 10 years, Densley said that he had lost his job three times, and knew that it was time for a change. Initially, that change entailed going back to school and getting a master’s degree like many of his friends and associates in the field of finance. 

“I worked for big companies, and small companies,” Densley said of his experience in banking and finance, and said when the time came to make a change he did “what everyone tells you not to” and decided to work with his hands. He enrolled in barber school, even though he’d never cut hair before, and immediately following that training, he opened his shop, nine years ago in October.

Blake’s Barbershop isn’t like the big box salons, or chain stores though, there’s more to this shop than the average patron might think. Much of what sets Blake’s apart comes from the training each barber has received, “All of us are actual licensed barbers,” he said, “there’s a difference.” That difference has to do with training. 

Each of the barbers is classically trained, meaning that while they may not do dye, or very long hairstyles like a cosmetologist may do, they are trained for shorter styles, and to fit that style to each individual client, “We’ll custom cut it to you,” said Densley. He went on to explain that while many clients are used to a simple clipper cut, where a stylist will put a guard on the clippers and mow over the hair, Blake’s Barbershop takes their jobs very seriously.

A new client can expect a consultation on style, length, if there’s anything about their hair that bothers them, even what kind of lifestyle they may have, and what kind of job they work. It’s all taken into account to make sure that the client leaves with the best possible haircut, and that they come back. That’s not all that sets Blake and his barbers apart either. “We freehand a lot of our haircuts,” Densley said, explaining that most of the haircuts are still done with a comb and scissors, “that’s where the skill comes in.” The skill certainly shows too, as clientele just keeps coming back.

Following a two-month mandated shutdown in 2020 from the pandemic, Densley said the return of his regular customers is what ensured the shop stayed afloat. It’s not just the regulars that keep them busy though, Densley said there are always new faces coming in, “I’ve really been amazed,” he said, “we get new people in the shop every week.”

That, said Densley, has been the most rewarding part of his career change, “People. I really, genuinely enjoy people.” There is, perhaps, no better place to meet a wide variety of people than at a barbershop too: Densley explained that they’ve had clients from every walk of life come through the doors and sit in their chairs. Everyone from bus drivers and pipe fitters to surgeons and pilots, high schoolers to 90-year-olds end everyone in-between, “You get to see life,” Densley said.

Although it can be difficult, Blake said that a career jump like his is “more attainable than you think.” He explained that for many like him, the worst thing that would happen is going back to their original career, reminding people that they’re “not going to be unemployable.” He also added a very interesting insight that many people starting their own business may not think about.

He talked about each time he lost his job, the decision to not keep him on at each company came down to one or two people, an HR representative, a president, or vice president, but that will never be the case with his barber shop, “I'd have to have hundreds and hundreds of people fire me at the same time,” he said, talking about the benefits of cutting hair. In this way, his shop is much more secure than any of his old jobs, “The longest job I’ve ever had is the job I made for myself.”