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Meet Stephen DeRose of Belsito Barber Shop in South End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephen DeRose.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, in Walpole and Norwood. I have always been organized and detailed and was taught if you are going to do anything, to do ones best and be as successful as you can. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Business management from Bryant University and have had a few jobs leading up to this one.

Supervisor/Manager at a Health Insurance company, Personal Trainer and General Manager at a one-on-one training facility in NYC. When my last job closed down and I was out of work I did not plan on following any particular path. I was talking with a friend who was going to Barber School and thought why not. I went to school to get my barbers license and worked at two different Barber Shops for almost 7 years at the same time. One Barber shop was in Boston and the other one on the Cape. When I went to Barbering School it was always my intention to run a shop. There came a time last year when the three of us barbers (Bridaa, Nick and myself) had to decide what we were going to do. We needed to find another place of employment. We all looked at several places and picked the current location. Staying in the South End allowed us to maintain a majority of our clients without much of a disruption.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think once us three barbers (Bridaa, Nick and myself) decided on a location it was really just taking one step at a time. The shop was previously the site of a Real Estate/Property Management Company. I worked with a lawyer to negotiate the terms of my lease. Once the contract was all set, there was a lot of hours that went into planning and purchasing items. I wanted to make sure that everything purchased and the set-up of the shop, created a welcoming environment for our customers and ourselves. Buildout wise, there really was not much that need to be done except, change some lighting, new flooring, changing some plumbing fixtures and giving the place a fresh coat of paint. The marble flooring in the receptions area, wood paneling and molding were already there. All the planning paid off, everyone appreciates the attention to detail and the atmosphere of the shop. If there was any obstacle, it was that the shop opening was delayed for a couple of months, with my Dad passing. I had to put everything on hold and attend to family matters.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Belsito Barber Shop story. Tell us more about the business.
Although Belsito Barber Shop is new to the South End, our staff turned family have been working together for 7+ year’s right here in the South End. The shop is modern and upscale, without the upscale price. We specialize in men’s classic, and trendy haircuts. What sets us apart from the other shops is the quality of our cuts and our service. We greet each customer, hang their coats and make them feel welcome. Customer service is essential in maintaining a strong clientele. The shop is welcoming, upbeat, friendly with soothing music. With a stress free environment.

I feel one of my strongest reasons to getting the shop up and running and getting our name out there, in a timely manner is my Front Desk Manager. Erika (Erykah) did a great job in creating our website and all of our social media outlets. With her being a millennial, it was fairly easy for us to get our online presence out & clients being able to locate our new shop via google!

What I am most proud of is how quickly the business has taken off and how well received we are. The name Belsito comes from the small village, in Southern Italy, that my Mom was born and raised in. It is also where she met and married my Dad. Three of my Grandparents are also from Belsito and one of them was a Barber. Belsito means beautiful site.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am not sure if I like to use the word luck, good or bad. My friends would say, I have more good luck than bad. I would rather think that I have made the most of any situation that has been dealt. For example, in 1994 I was planning on moving from Boston to New York City and move in with a friend. My truck was packed and I was about to leave with my belongings. Ten minutes before heading out, my future roommate told me that I would not be able to move in. Not to let any obstacle get in my way, I called a friend in NYC and we came up with a plan. I drove down and put all my stuff in storage. I stayed at two separate friends apartments and within a month found an apartment and a great job. I am a believer of never giving up, to weigh all options thru and do the best you can. One of my mottos I developed as a Personal Trainer “It’s all about the D’s; Desire, Determination, Discipline and Dedication, not Donuts, Danish, Dessert or Drinks”

Pricing:

  • Haircut (includes neck shave). $30
  • Haircut with shampoo $35
  • Haircut with beard trim. $40
  • Buzz cut, Students, Children, Seniors (65+) $25
  • Beard trim. $15. with Shave outline $20
  • Head shave $30
  • Face shave $40
  • Haircut and Face shave $60
  • Line up / Outline $15
  • Neck Trim (includes shave) $8

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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