More than just a barbershop!
Chaz Hazlitt and Michael Checo, most commonly referred to as Chaz and Checo, have many things in common. Some of the common traits they share are, their sincere passion towards barbering, their ambition/work ethic and regardless of where they are now and where they plan to go, they will never forget their roots.
These two men are the thriving business owners of Stache Barbers in Union Township, NJ. Since January of 2013 Chaz and Checo have productively run their shop together (along with the impeccable aid of their staff consisting of four additional barbers), have created a well-known and ever-growing brand name and the duo has even greater plans for the future of Stache.
Success does not always come easy though, and these men are the prime example of how hard work and perseverance truly pays off. Chaz and Checo have formed a brotherhood at very young ages. When Chaz was only 21 years old, he met 9-year-old Checo by chance, when Checo walked into the barbershop where Chaz was working at the time. Days, weeks then months passed by and Checo spent more and more of his time giving up opportunities to play with his 10 year old friends, to be at the shop. He began simply by sweeping the floors but always watched closely to how Chaz worked. Eventually he began practicing and Chaz become somewhat of a mentor for him. “I never had an older brother, I grew up with two older sisters, so I guess when I was younger I began to see him as a brother,” Checo shares. “And I never had a little brother either, so it worked out,” replied Chaz. Since then their loyalty and bond has been unbreakable.
Curtis Smith, Celebrity Barber to countless artists such as P. Diddy and Usher and Team Xotics Creator, is the man who has some responsibility for the barber and business owner Chaz has become today. “He really pushed me into the world,” Chaz said as he recalled first meeting Smith and the ways he mentored and assisted Chaz. Meanwhile, Checo built a home business in his basement where he was constantly cutting hair and his name became known through word of mouth in and around his hometown of Union. “I had guys call me up for haircuts at all times of the day/night and no matter what time it was or what I was doing, I stopped to give them a cut. It never bothered or annoyed me to get so many calls because I was doing what I loved.” Checo said.
Prior to Stache, the two had gone through trial and error; working at different shops for periods of times, and at one point Chaz stepped away from the barbering life for a few years to pursue a career in music industry. Although they gained knowledge and experience through their trials, at the end of the day they were not truly satisfied and knew something was not right. “I feel like we outgrew the shops we were working at, and we both wanted more. So the same day I left where I was, I drove around town and immediately started looking for a spot,” shared Checo, “As soon as I found a spot, I called Chaz and said ‘Let’s open up a shop.’” To which Chaz quickly, without a second thought replied, “Let’s go!”
Together the men put their full trust into one another and took a leap of faith. Without delay, they began construction, which took about four months to complete and, once again, together Chaz and Checo worked towards their future. During construction, they continued their barber business and found themselves back at their roots, in Checo’s garage with only two chairs and an endless flow of customers. They simultaneously traveled nationwide attending numerous events and spent countless, sleepless nights at their future shop to prepare for the grand opening planned for January 2013.
The goal the duo set up for their shop was to have a diverse, comfortable environment. Their clientele ranges anywhere from young children, high school/college students, fathers/grandfathers, local business men, CEO’s and even celebrities like Usher, P. Diddy, Machine Gun Kelly, DJ Khaled and many others. It was important and personal for Chaz and Checo to have a place where “different walks of life,” feel comfortable and at home every time they step foot into Stache Barbers. Their shop environment was not the only important goal, though. Post construction the men still did not have a name for their shop, even after countless brainstorming meetings.
Nevertheless, as fate would have it, during their meeting with their accountant to finalize contracts, Chaz got a phone call from Elliot Chester, friend and fellow barber/business owner of Elliot & Co. Elliot would soon be traveling from Las Vegas, NV to New York and needed to use a barber chair for a benefit he was soon attending at City Field. “We’re going to shave Keith Hernandez’s stache!” Elliot told Chaz. “Stache? I’m trying to think of a name for my barber shop what if I…” and before Chaz could finish his sentence, Elliot replied, “Call it Stache!” Chaz and Checo both agree that a mustache is one of the most prominent features on a man, it symbolizes power and growth. Two nouns the pair have accomplished through their constant hustle and ambition.
The contracts were signed immediately after their name was final. Then along with their families, friends and clients, Chaz Hazlitt and Michael Checo celebrated their grand opening of Stache Barbers on January 18, 2013. Stache Barbershop is not only a shop but it has also a brand name. They have created apparel for barbers by barbers, they soon plan to create their own product line and most recently are launching a special straight razor called “The Rebel,” that will enhance a barber’s hand and bring wonders to shops everywhere.
The professionalism that is associated with Stache Barbers and their brand does not only satisfy their clients, it also satisfies the needs of their staff who are fortunate enough to be apart of an establishment that is lead by humble men who were not easily handed success, but built it on their own through sweat, tears and risk. When asked what is most important to them as barbers and co-business owners, Chaz and Checo replied: “We don’t consider ourselves their boss, we’re here and working alongside of our staff. Instead of delegating, we like to show the work ethic. Neither of us is here for a power trip. We try to lead by example in order to build other leaders like ourselves, so in the future we can build together as a team.”
Stache Barbers is open for business Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and their offered services is listed below.
Stache Barbers and their staff are frequently attending events/benefits and are always willing to travel in order spread their knowledge, as well as expand their own. This culture is always growing and new ideas are coming forth brought by new talent, and these talented men are growing right along with that culture they are apart of. Within the next two years the co-owners have plans to open brother shops nationwide, so in order to stay up-to-date with the latest Stache Barber news please visit their website, stop by the shop and follow their social media sites; all contact info can be found below.
Contact Stache Barbers:
- Address: 414 Chestnut St, Union, NJ 07083
- Phone: 908-810-1648
- Web address: http://www.stachebarbers.com