Cheri Johns carries a straight-edged razor and knows how to use it. She's a licensed barber who has taken her skills and tools on the road to save executives time.
"I call myself a personal barber," said Johns, of Clearwater. "The idea for Executives Edge came from a client. I decided to try it and the business has taken off. I go to the clients to cut their hair. They don't have to come to me. The whole concept is about comfort and convenience."
David Kazarian, president and CEO of Infuserve America, can attest to that.
Instead of sitting and waiting for a barber, he continued working as Johns spread her black mat atop his office's blue carpet and set up her chair. During his haircut, Kazarian's door stayed wide open.
"Time is of the essence," said Kazarian, who followed in his father Sarkis Kazarian's footsteps and became a pharmacist. "Three situations needed my attention during the time I had my hair cut and I could attend to them. I wasn't detached from the office."
Although Executives Edge is only a couple of months old, Johns has had 10 clients. All have scheduled another appointment. While a website is in the works, most business has come from word of mouth. Sometimes within the same building.
Chuck Coit, president of One Stop Pharmacy, operates his business down the hall from Kazarian. Coit stopped in to have his hair cut while Johns was onsite.
"The convenience factor is nice," said Coit. "She shaved my neck with a straight razor. She massaged my scalp and that doesn't suck either."
Just like Kazarian, Coit talked with employees who came looking for him while Johns trimmed his hair. He did close his eyes during his neck and scalp massage.
Johns understands that time is money to her clients. She doesn't mind interruptions in her work or stopping if a client needs a moment. Haircuts take between 30 and 45 minutes. She spends another 15 minutes to set up, clean up when she's done and to break down equipment.
She carries everything she needs in a rolling suitcase specifically fashioned with an electrical strip inside by Johns' father, Leo Ghoogasian. There are pockets for hair products, combs, clippers, a blow dryer and bottled solutions to sterilize tools between clients.
"Sanitation is very important to me," said Johns. "I use neck strips for each client and follow all state of Florida requirements."
Johns has had experience with a nontraditional setting for cutting hair in the past, once working as a barber on a cruise ship. She's been a professional barber for 20 years, most recently in Trinity in Pasco County.
While Executives Edge serves the immediate Tampa Bay area and has clients in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa, so far they are all men. Johns can cut women executives' hair, too, but there is no shampooing or coloring, since the work is done in the executive's office.
"This is my second appointment with Executives Edge," Kazarian said. "I don't have to be away from the office or make decisions on the phone where I'm not able to see exactly what has happened. It makes so much sense because business doesn't stop."
With an Executives Edge appointment, clients get a haircut, a straight-edge shave around ears and neck, trimming of nose and facial hair, and lastly, a scalp, temple and neck massage. Haircuts, depending on services, range from $35 to $50.
"The scalp and neck massage helps clients relax," said Johns, 52. "These are stressful jobs and those areas are where the most tension builds up. My service gives executives a moment to breathe, relax and be pampered."
For more information on Executives Edge, call (727) 453-9575 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.