After almost five years in business, local hair stylist, Frank Desario says opening up Legends Barbershop in Bradford was a great opportunity.
Back in 2012, Desario had just moved to Bradford and was commuting everyday for work to the hair salon he owned in Bolton.
After much thought and consideration, he decided to sell his salon and open a new one in Bradford, this time specializing in men’s hair cuts and styles.
“I wanted to simplify the business and focus on men’s styling and hair cutting,” he explained.
He was looking to build a name for himself in town, and thought Bradford was a great spot to build a new life and business.
“I like the location, Bradford has been fantastic for us for business, it’s a growing community,” he said.
Desario notes the trends for men’s hairstyling have been great for his shop.
“When I was new in the hair business, barber shops were for old men, it’s made a resurgence because the trends went towards classic barbered looks– the tapered and hair partings, which was really out of style for a very long time,” he explained.
He believes part of his success has to do with coming in at the right time, and being able to “establish his roots” within the community.
“I’m the owner and it’s a small place and we can control the service better,” he said.
With business booming, he recently enlisted the help of a new stylist, Jean Resko.
Originally a client of Legends, Resko now works happily beside Desario everyday, servicing his own clients and walk-in customers.
“Our big fear here is that the 80’s rock bands are going to come back and all the guys are going to grow their hair long,” joked Desario.
Legends takes walk-in appointments, but also have an online booking system which was implemented in 2016. Their busiest times of the day are evenings and weekends, and they do encourage people to book online if they can.
Desario says their shop is dedicated to cuts and styles only, they do not do hot shaves or other special treatments in order to provide efficient service to their clients.
“We just stick to hair. Our haircuts are what’s popular here and we want to make sure we are available because that’s what they (the customers) need,” he said.
Desario looks back now and can’t believe how much has changed since making the move to Bradford just seven years ago.
At the time, he was single and had just purchased a brand new town home in the new Grand Central subdivision. Little did he know, that just next door was a neighbour who would change his life forever.
A single-lady by the name of Linda had also purchased a townhome and both her and Desario had become great friends since moving in. As their relationship grew, they eventually started dating and then marrying in 2016.
Together they have a two and a half year old son named Evan, and another little boy on the way in December.
Desario laughed at the irony of December being one of his busiest times of the year, and says he will try to make it through to January before taking some time off to spend with the new baby.
Now that he has a family, he notes it is challenging to balance both home life and business, but he makes it work, especially now with Resko on his team.
Most of his clients are regulars, but with Bradford growing, he gets quite a bit of new clientele as well.
A humble Desario noted how proud he is of the shop’s five-star rating on Google. He also mentioned he was recently voted for a Bradford Board of Trade Business Award, but declined the nomination.
“I don’t know who voted for me,” he said. “But I don’t like the spotlight.”
He may be humble, but he’s not shy or quiet. It isn’t uncommon to find regular clients and plaza mates frequently stopping by the shop just to chat or crack jokes with the charismatic stylist.
He says he is proud of the business he has built here in town and hopes to continue its success for years to come, providing men with fresh, haircuts in an efficient, friendly manner.
To learn more about Legends Barbershop, check out their website here.