WHO: Mat and Amber Harkless of Exodus Hair & Barber Lounge
WHEN: September 2019
WHERE: 1275 W 9th St, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Why did you move to the neighborhood? What attracted you here? If we are being completely honest we weren’t 100% positive where we wanted to locate Exodus until we viewed the space with the building owners. The Warehouse District is so unique, and our space shows this to be true with the exposed brick, high ceilings, and true warehouse feel. The Warehouse District is right in the heart of downtown but feels so much like a close-knit community. We talk to the neighbors all the time and everyone loves where they live and work. Looking back now we wouldn’t place Exodus anywhere else, this is home.
Tell us about your business? Exodus is half barbershop and half salon. We have divided it straight down the middle with a T-wall 8 feet high (with the high ceilings there is still plenty of open space). This is a concept we hadn’t seen done before. Being husband and wife we wanted to share a space but feel as if it were separate entities, a salon and barbershop. We created an atmosphere that stays true to the Warehouse District by keeping the space as original as possible and incorporated an old fire escape ladder and rafters from the space.
There are a lot of places to go get a great hair service in Cleveland, at Exodus we believe that the consistent and professional experience we provide with every service is what sets us apart. The Warehouse District is booming with professionals and we value being a shop that holds standards a notch higher. You will get an excellent experience every guest every time.
Where are you from? Are you a Cleveland native? We aren’t Cleveland native, but we feel more at home here than we have anywhere else. Originally I (Amber) am from New Philadelphia OH, a small town an hour and a half south of here. Mat was born and raised in Akron (he still claims they have the best skate-parks there). When we got married we settled in Canton OH, right by the Football Hall of Fame. Three years ago we helped launch King's Church in Lakewood and commuted from Canton to Lakewood every week. That was the beginning of the future for us. The more time we spent in Cleveland the more we fell in love with the city, which eventually led us to taking the risk of going all or nothing. We listed and sold our house before even finding the location for Exodus.
Funniest customer story/request? We honestly can't think of a specific one. Every guest is unique and every request is different, that’s what makes this industry so creative. A “funny or crazy” request makes us think outside of the box, which is typically where creatives live already and where our best work comes from. I mean we both are currently rocking the “modern mullet” sooo…. The crazier the better!
Anything else you want to share with the neighborhood? At Exodus, we believe that how you treat someone says more about you and your character than it does about them and theirs. Because of this, when you walk into Exodus, you won't feel like you just walked into the wrong bar. You'll feel welcomed, valued, and confident in the hair service you receive. We would love to meet you, even if you’re just walking by with your pup, stop in and say hi!