Rock and roll has saved a lot of lives, but it hasn’t inspired a lot of barbershops — until now. Living in Phoenix, Mindi Breen spent years cutting hair for other salons before wondering if there was a better way. “There were plenty of days where I was like, ‘I’m dreading walking through that door.’” She shivers and laughs. “And I thought, ‘What would make me wanna walk through that door?’”
Inspired by the aesthetics of Kiss, Van Halen, and other rock gods of old, she imagined a salon that catered to men yet also offered the level of care associated with those for women. “I knew there were men out there who did want those things — they just want to feel like they’re in a masculine place.”
With that focused vision she opened her salon, Wolf Howl Honey, named after a line from a song by 80s pop metal gods Whitesnake.
Situated in a historic hotel that’s been converted into spaces for artists and entrepreneurs, Wolf Howl Honey channels the essence of rock into a salon environment. When we stop by, Zeppelin booms from the speakers and the walls are adorned with the trappings of old-school masculinity — a framed portrait of Dirty Harry, a plaster Panther, and a hanging sculpture of the Rolling Stones’ lip-and-tongue logo.
As Mindi gives a client and cut and a facial, she reflects on her approach with her typical shot-of-Fireball demeanor. “Bring your kids to me. Bring your brother to me. Come here when you’re getting married.” She laughs. “Come here when you die.”
While she initially leaned on her existing client base, Mindi knew she had to turn up the volume on awareness so folks knew about Wolf Howl Honey. Using Websites + Marketing from GoDaddy, she created a modern site with a picture gallery showing off her work and the salon’s décor, alongside tools that make it easy to schedule appointments online so she can keep the focus on client care.
In addition, the site showcases her line of apothecary products, from beard oil to body powders.
“Selling on the web,” she says, “gives me access to a lot more people than with just brick-and-mortar — plus, I’m open 24/7.”
Engaging with the local online style community is also essential, and the site helps her connect. “Instagram plays a huge role for me because we have so much access to new music, pop culture, and fans who can find me when I show off Wolf Howl Honey.”
Near the end of our visit, Mindi takes us out back to her vintage silver Gulfstream, which she hopes to trick out so it can one day be the home of Wolf Howl Honey. “I want a truly expansive space,” she says, spreading her arms, “so people can easily find their products, get beautiful, get handsome, get on their way.”
Her advice to the entrepreneurs in the audience is simple — don’t give up. “The hardest part is working through your fears, your lack of confidence, and your anxiety to that point and see things materialize.”