Selective Focus: Deep Cuts Hair Salon

Deep Cuts hair salon opened in August 2020. Bee Golding started the salon after five years of working with hair because they “love meeting and connecting with new people.” They work together with their partner Jes Golding, who helped Bee with the mission and aesthetic of the shop. “In fact, I almost quit cutting hair, but Jes encouraged me to create our own environment instead. Barbershops are traditionally very stereotypically masculine places that don’t always feel the most welcoming to LGBTQIA2S+ folks and I wanted to change that.”

Recently, Bee started the Friends of Evan Fund to honor their client and friend, Evan Adams, who passed on March 9, 2021. The fund is a way for people to “gift a haircut to trans, nonbinary, two spirit, and other gender non-conforming folks.” All of the funds are used to pay for hair styling services for anyone that requests them. Contributions to the fund can be made through Venmo at @friendsofevan or by donating while stopping in at Deep Cuts. Bee described Evan as “a great person who I will always feel lucky to have had time with. We talked a lot about Trans issues and inclusivity and he was one of the first people I confided in about being Trans before I came out publicly. We talked once about the difference between a space that is inclusive to the LGBTQIA2S+ community versus a space created specifically with the community in mind” and expressed the impact a haircut can have on a trans person’s confidence.

Bee: Many places want to get you in and out as quickly as possible to maximize the number of haircuts they can do in a day. At our shop, we work by appointment only so that we can take our time and give you a quality haircut in a safe and private setting where you don’t have people sitting watching you get your haircut while they wait so you can feel more relaxed and comfortable to be yourself.

I draw a lot of inspiration from other barbers in the industry, but I also find myself drawing inspiration from film and television. Most people probably never think about how many different haircuts there are in any given scene but I can’t help but notice it. I view hair as a blue collar art form. It’s reading a blueprint mixed with artistic interpretation. I definitely believe in using a person’s face shape as well as their lifestyle to help me decide how to approach their haircut. Some people want to look very clean cut and short whereas some people need a haircut that’s fuller and looks lived in and I love being able to provide both because of being trained in freehand clipper cutting.

As both a queer and trans business owner, inclusivity is the most important thing to me. It’s really the core of why I opened my own shop to create what I often refer to as my own “island of misfit toys” where myself and the many diverse members of my community can feel safe and at home. Our current goal is to be a full service hair studio for folks of any hair length. We subscribe to the idea that hair doesn’t have a gender and it should be priced as such. There aren’t men’s haircuts and women’s haircuts, there’s just short haircuts and long haircuts. We are adding stylists (first one in June!) that are versed in longer hair as well as specializing in color, and further down the line body waxing. At the forefront of this expansion is being able to be more inclusive so this can truly be our whole community’s space.

My other art form of choice is definitely more musical than visual. I love playing guitar and bass and you can usually see me picking away for a few minutes in the shop when I have a brief moment between clients. Jes is definitely the more visually creative of the two of us and enjoys working with mixed mediums such as collage as well as doing some very cool painting projects, such as the geometric design walls we have in the shop.

The shop environment is vintage meets clean and modern. We’ve got a barber chair that is almost 100 years old in a shop with wood paneling that I’m told was reclaimed from the grain elevators as well as a turntable and a stack of records that I like to spin. Music is a big deal in the shop, and sets a lot of the mood in there. The shop also serves as a Sober Duluth community space, where we plan to also host some events post-COVID. We also sell a full line of high-quality grooming products and some quirky queer clothing finds, local band merchandise, and other local goods.

I would like to close by saying thank you to the community for all their acceptance and support. This business truly is a dream come true for us and it’s only just begun.

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