Blue Springs has a new barber shop.
Not exactly dog bites man news, until you listen to master barber Riss Catt talk about her new Blue Springs Barber Shop, at 1614 S. Missouri 7 in the Keystone Plaza Shopping Center.
She is a traditionalist. If you want a Mohawk or lightning bolts shaved into your scalp, this isn’t your shop.
If you want an old fashioned hair cut, at an old fashioned price, this is the place. John Wayne westerns play on the television, Marty Robbins is singing about “El Paso” on the radio and a variety of magazines along with that morning’s Examiner sit on a table.
The warmth and love of her profession – paying attention to the smallest detail – make every customer feel like they’ve found a new home.
One new customer tells Riss that his barber recently retired. He talks about going to those “come and go places where they never know your name” and she just grins.
“The biggest kick I get out of this place,” said Catt, who has been a fourth-generation master barber since 2003, “are my repeat customers.”
As if on cue, a favorite repeat customer walks through her door. They talk about his love of American cars, his family and how special the shave at the end of the haircut is to him and everyone he knows.
He pays, leaves a generous tip, and says, “I’ll be back.”
It’s his third hair cut since she opened shop Sept. 12.
“My first day was so exciting,” Catt said, during a rare moment when she was not cutting hair. “I didn’t know what to expect – and I was busy all day. Now, I’m getting repeat customers and customers who are telling me that their friends told them about my shop.
“I live in Blue Springs, and to have the Blue Springs Barber Shop is very special for me.”
Later that afternoon, a potential customer stands at the doorway and asks, “Do you do straight-razor shaves?”
She explained to him that, yes, she did straight-razor shaves, and prided herself on the quality of each shave.
“I’ll be back after work,” he said.
True to his word, he came back, and raved about his new look.
“He didn’t have a long beard, but he had a full beard,” Catt said. “You could tell he really enjoyed the shave. It’s a bit like girls going to get our nails done – it’s a little bit of a luxury, but it is worth it.
“And he must feel the same way because he told me he was definitely coming back – and that’s what I like to hear with a new business.”
Catt and her father designed and built the interior of the shop, from the distressed cabinets to the barn wood door that hides a large back room that could one day be a part of the shop.
“I want to make a go of it – and I am,” she said. “My rent and utilities are paid and I have a little money on the side, but one day, I’d like to add another chair. I’d like to get an old-time barber, a traditional barber, who gets me and understands what this shop is all about.”
Her husband calls Catt a “cute blonde with the soul of an 83-year-old barber,” and after spending a morning in the shop it’s easy to see how he came up with that description.
“I have five uncles and a granddad, all on my mother’s side, who were all barbers, and I have always been fascinated by barber shops – the feel of a barber shop, the smile on the face of a satisfied customer, making your customer feel like he’s at home.”
The repeat customers, the newcomers, all left with smiles and the satisfaction of paying for a job well done.
“Where has she been all my life?” quipped a customer as he put on his jacket. “This is a barber shop.”
Now, it was Catt’s turn to smile.
“I’m surprised when I have someone come in who has never had a razor trim around their neck and ears,” she said. “To me, that’s just part of a haircut. At least that’s a part of a haircut at my shop.
“I’ve dreamed of a shop like this all my life, and now, my dream has come true.”
IF YOU GO
• The Blue Springs Barber Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
• Haircuts are $15, with a $2 discount for seniors, military personnel and firefighters, buzz cuts are $10, a shave is $20 and beard trims are $8 for short beards and $12 for long beards.
• For more information call 816-447-8184.