A small statue on Christopher Butler’s desk has the following Vince Lombardi quote inscribed on it: “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” During my recent chat with the CEO and co-founder of Butler’s Grooming, it became apparent that the work ethic and discipline it took for him to become a record-holding high school track star and an NFL running back are no less necessary when forging one’s place in the local business community.
Since its opening in June 2009, the men’s grooming lounge (a partnership between Butler and NFL linebacker Karlos Dansby) has served thousands of clients, but as Butler himself notes, there are still many who don’t even know it exists. However, their focus on providing quality service is paying off; plans are underway for Butler’s to open a second location at The Summit’s Saks Fifth Avenue this spring.
“Men want to feel good, and they want to look good,” Mr. Butler explains. “We’re a man’s man’s place, and we focused on designing a masculine environment.” The curent location is almost a fantasy man cave come to life, with its multiple flat screens, WiFi, inviting bar and comfy leather armchairs. A grand, old-fashioned (but fully functioning) shoeshine stand, private massage and treatment room, and a Hall of Fame with framed sports memorabilia complete the downtown location’s decor. Nail treatments, hot lather shaves, facials, and the services of a barber and stylist help men look their absolute best.
“We have guys we have to almost kick out the door,” Butler notes. “For the busy professional, we value his time. We want to [ensure] that he has the very best experience, that [the surroundings are] memorable and he wants to return. It’s truly about the relationship; customers become part of our family.”
Why was now a particularly good time to expand and partner with Saks?
Butler’s enthusiasm is infectious. “I think it’s going to be a great fit in terms of the services and quality we offer. I think the grace of God opens doors and sometimes you have to walk through them. Expansion into key markets has always been the vision, and timing is everything. The timing was right for us and we’re very excited.”
The artistic renderings for the Saks location are fabulous. The 1700 square foot men’s club will be located in the men’s department and will feature a bar, cafe and billiards lounge, recessed televisions, private treatment rooms and a concierge. In a word, it is plush. The grand opening is slated to be held in a few months and may even feature some special guests. In the meantime, if you want to be treated like a VIP, Butler highly recommends one of their signature services.
Butler is clear that the new expansion is part of a team effort.
“Given this economy, [you really have to] be strategic. If you have a dream, go for it. You have to make sure you have the right team in place that shares your vision. If you do, the sky’s the limit.’
Gentlemen, want some spring grooming tips straight from Butler’s? Stay tuned!
Image via Butler’s Grooming