Welcome to the community, Bulldog Barbershop. Its doors opened in mid-May at the Stearns-Bagley Plaza.

Sisters Jennifer, left, and Lauren Stechow use their barber skills on customers Elias Diaz, left, and Rich Russell at their Bulldog Barbershop.

By Joanne Berger DuMound/special to cleveland.com.

OLMSTED TOWNSHIP Ohio — One of the newest small businesses fits quite nicely into the spirit of our town — including its name.

Welcome to the community, Bulldog Barbershop. Its doors opened in mid-May at the Stearns-Bagley Plaza.

Two of the three owners are barbers. Meet sisters Lauren and Jennifer Stechow. They have been cutting hair for quite some time. Jennifer has been at it for 20 years. 

Their mother was a cosmetologist in the 1980s. They saw her working in a “friendly” environment and liked what they saw.

“It looked like fun,” Lauren said. “I love talking to and meeting people. When we’re cutting and styling hair, it’s almost like being a therapist. It is a different environment, one which we like.”

They attended barber school and worked together at a Bay Village barbershop before deciding to renovate a former dance studio in the Stearns-Bagley Plaza. They also have cosmetology licenses and cut and style women’s hair. Lauren has instructor and independent contractor licenses. 

Their brother, Andrew, will join them in August, making the shop a three-sibling endeavor.

Opening their own barbershop in Olmsted Township was a natural decision. Lauren and her fiancé, Craig Recko, the third shop owner, live within walking distance. Craig, a physician who practices in Vermilion, is also a coach with the Olmsted Falls School District.

Lauren Stechow is completing a skin fade cut on first-time customer Rich Russell, who is active duty with the U.S. Army, based in Cleveland.

The five children of the soon-to-be blended family attend Olmsted Falls public and Catholic schools.

“There is no barbershop in the immediate area,” Lauren said. “It seemed perfect.”

Jennifer, who lives in Elyria, said she likes the neighborhood.

“I like the tight-knit community. Here, everyone seems to know everyone and everything that is happening,” Jennifer said. “It’s nice to feel that family element of a community.”

They also appreciate how the community supports local small businesses.

“A man came in here and opened the door. He said: ‘I’m praying for you. We will support you and your small business.’ That is amazing,” said Jennifer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. 

“This is why we have been so successful in our infancy — the support of local business. It is definitely needed after a long stint in the pandemic. They are all ready to get back to making this community drive again, business-wise.”

Barber Jennifer Stechow concentrates on the high fade cut for customer Allan Might of North Olmsted at Olmsted Township’s Bulldog Barbershop.

Lauren said that when she began cutting hair, men were a bit “scared” to be served by a woman barber. Now, not so much.

“A man told me the other day: ‘As a woman, you know what you like in a man’s hair. I trust you more,’” she said.

Elias Diaz, who lives in Avon, said Jennifer has been his barber for about a year. He followed her clippers to this new location.

“She does what my wife tells her to do,” he said. “My wife and daughter also come here.”

Allan Might of North Olmsted sat in Jennifer’s barber chair Friday (May 28). He also went to the two when they worked in Bay Village.

“They pay attention to detail. They get it, ” Allan said. “You get what you ask for here.”

The shop specializes in men’s haircut styles, children’s and women’s cuts, custom design, beard and mustache trims, shaves, waxing and other services. Each haircut includes a hot towel neck shave.

Sisters Jennifer, left, and Lauren Stechow will be joined this August by brother barber Andrew Stechow at their Bulldog Barbershop in Olmsted Township.

Lauren said last year, kids wanted high hard part haircuts. COVID-19 changed all that.

“They grew their hair out. We now have the length to work other styles. The 1990s are back, with very bulky hair in the crown. It’s like Zack Morris of ‘Saved by the Bell’ hair style,” Lauren said. “Other styles men like include drop fades, hard parts — and everyone loves a straight-razor shave.”

The pandemic also changed a few other things. They are fully COVID-19 vaccinated and will accommodate clients to make them feel comfortable during their cuts. The shop has a state-of-the-art HVAC system, which exchanges air every 10 seconds.

“The system controls airborne pathogens,” Lauren said. “All new businesses need that now. Only a few of us have it in this area.”

They keep up with the latest haircut and style fashions by attending barber and cosmetology shows, as well as constantly checking YouTube and Instagram.

Rich Russell and his family moved to Olmsted Township from California last July. He is a commander sergeant major with the U. S. Army Cleveland Recruiting Battalion. He walked into the Bulldog Barbershop for the first time Friday after seeing it mentioned a few times on Facebook community pages.

“I needed a haircut and this location is close to home,” he said. “One of the hardest things about moving is finding a good barber. I need a professional look, not trendy. I am definitely coming back.”

Gary, a miniature schnauzer, is the Bulldog Barbershop’s permanent shop dog. 

Prices at Bulldog Barbershop are competitive with others in the area. The shop offers discounts to kids 13 and younger, seniors, military and first responders. A list of services and prices are on its website, bulldogbarbershopof.com. The shop also has a Facebook page. It also serves beer and pop to customers, who usually offer a donation.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if you’re greeted at the door by Gary, the barbershop’s miniature schnauzer. He’s hypoallergenic. He loves people, especially kids.

The shop’s phone number is 440-782-5202. Its hours are 9 to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Customers also may book a haircut online.

Why not stop by the newest business in town and give them a Bulldog welcome.

Golf outings: The Olmsted Falls Athletic Boosters’ first golf outing of the summer is at 9 a.m. June 26 at Mallard Creek Golf Course, 34500 Royalton Road in Columbia Township. Registration is at 8 a.m., with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. 

The cost is $100 a person and includes a cart, greens fee, beverages, lunch, dinner and raffle prizes. The real fun includes a four-person scramble, closest to the pin, long drive, longest putt competition and a 50/50 raffle. 

Sign up and pay online at Olmsted-falls-athletic-boosters.ticketleap.com You also may email Darcy Nelson at [email protected] with your team captain’s name, email and phone number to receive payment options.

And the Olmsted Falls High School Alumni golf outing is at 8:30 a.m. July 31 at Creekwood Golf Course, 9691 Reed Road, Columbia Township. The cost is $100 per golfer or $400 for a foursome. 

The price includes 18 holes, riding cart, lunch, beverages, dinner and golf favor. Those who just want to enjoy dinner pay $20. Fun games include skins, closest to the pin, longest drive beanbag toss, 50/50 and raffle prizes. 

To register, go to ofhsalumni.com or call 440-427-6030.

Kampus kudos: Local residents Angela Elsewisy and Jim Wonders were named to the Winter 2021 President’s List at Southern New Hampshire University. Full-time students earn this honor by having a minimum 3.7 GPA.

Congratulations, Jim and Angela.

Cloth collection: The Fill the Truck fundraiser that accepts various cloth material runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5. Our Olmsted Falls Music Association is partnering with Savers to bring this donation collection truck to the Falls-Lenox Primary School’s parking lot.

Acceptable items include clothing, shoes, scarves, belts, purses, hats, book bags, cloth lunch boxes, linens, curtains, draperies, towels, bedding and fabric. Please do not bring household items, toys, books or items that are not cloth.

Savers will compensate the association based on the pounds of cloth items collected. All donors will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Bring your items in bags or boxes. If you do not have bags, the truck has some for your use.

Trail clean-up: After dropping off your cloth items at the Fill the Truck fundraiser, head over to David Fortier Park and be part of the Hometown Trails Cleanup Day, set for noon to 5 p.m. June 5.

The event is part of National Trail Day, a day of service and advocacy for hometown trails. You can help to clean up the park and trails by filling a bag with trash you may find along the way or helping to collect small limbs and twigs. The city’s service department will provide bags and latex gloves.

What a great way to help freshen up the park that welcomes everyone with its natural beauty.

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