With dark wood, leather aprons, repurposed Jack Daniel’s barrels, beard oils, and straight razor shaves, Legacy Barber Shoppe is a he-man’s delight. Owned and operated by Bryan Epling, it encapsulates the sights and smells of a garage, a woodshop, and of course a barbershop while offering the gentle touch of a seasoned barber, and hometown welcome.
Bryan is an Eaton Rapids native, who raised his own family in the Island City as well. After working for the Lansing Fire Department for 25 years Bryan retired and knew he wanted to attend barber school and take up the family trade: barbering. His grandfather, an Italian immigrant, was the first in the family to own a barbershop in the United States. He owned two barbershops in the Upper Peninsula before moving his family to Lansing, where he opened a third barbershop that was open for the next 72 years, according to Bryan. Bryan’s uncle was also a barber, and his mother was a cosmetologist.
With his family history in barbering, and a quarter century of firefighting behind him, Bryan enrolled at the Lansing Barber College in Feb. 2017, and graduated by Dec. After 2,000 hours of cutting hair, and recruiting Wilma Lantrip, another longstanding local barber with 28 years of experience, Bryan opened Legacy Barbershop to offer his home community a different kind of service.
“This community has provided for our family and given a lot to us,” said Bryan. “I spent a career being a public servant. This is another example of giving back to our community.”
With Legacy Bryan hopes to give Eaton Rapids a newer brand of barbershop, one that includes the classic hair styles and cuts of previous generations while offering new goods and services that appeal to young and old alike. With a primarily male target market, Legacy offers cuts, like the pompadour, and tricks, like the fade, that are so popular with younger generations. Legacy also offers a renewed focus on beards, another popular physical trait among millennials. Beard creams, oils, and shampoos can be found on the shelves at Legacy.
But Bryan knows the target market well enough to know that the popular cuts and beards don’t stand by themselves. They’re accompanied by a masculine esthetic, one that likes the smell of wood and leather, the taste of dark beer and straight whiskey, and a grim color palate of black, brown, and grey. With that in mind, Bryan designed the interior of Legacy to match the persona of the haircuts. Bryan also tried to keep prices at Legacy competitive and easy on the wallet.
To learn more about Legacy Barber Shoppe or Bryan Epling, hours of operation, and pricing, readers can visit the Legacy Barber Shoppe LLC Facebook page, call (517) 663-1504 or visit us at 106 E. Knight Street in Eaton Rapids.