By Mary Helen Darah
Kevin Clay, founder and part owner of the Barber Lounge at V Couture, Perrysburg, and the Barber Lounge at V Collection, downtown Sylvania, firmly believes that it is vital to represent yourself well. The University of Toledo graduate, who has a background in sales in corporate America, assists men of all ages to look and feel their best. Clay began cutting hair at the youthful age of 10 and recalls having a line of people on his front porch waiting for one of his sought after $3 haircuts. This carried with him throughout his life. He ended up leaving a coveted position in pharmaceutical sales to live his passion as a stylist housed within the two locations of the men’s custom clothier. He has been helping men of all generations present the best representation of themselves.
No time for style
“Most men are not shoppers,” explained Clay. “We know what we want and go out and get it. We are gone in 10-15 minutes. Many men spend more time parking the car at the mall than talking with a sales person. We have so many guys who would look good with some guidance.” Clay also believes that men tend to have a “guy” for all their needs yet fail to have one for their personal appearance. “We are the ‘king’ of having a ‘guy’ for this and that, yet men are known not to have haberdasher ‘guy,’” stated Clay. “We help men represent themselves in all areas of their lives whether it be in business, family or community.” Boomer and financial consultant Jim Scheib, partner at Scheib, Snow and Company, agrees. “You only make a first impression once. Personally, I think we are getting too casual. It seems as if we have gone from one extreme to another. Taking the time to look my best sends a message to my clients, my wife and the organizations I support, that they are worth the effort.”
Maintain your vision
Clay has seen men lose their vision as they age. “I think when you present the best version of yourself, it enables you to continue dreaming,” stated Clay. “Aging can plateau your vision. As long as there is breath in your body, God is giving you something to do. You must have purpose and meaning. It is applicable in the way that you care for yourself. Many boomers have kids and grand kids. They need to see you strong and pushing toward the future. I did not grow up with a lot of examples. Seeing Mr. Scheib who is still initiating and striving is motivational.”
Find your personal brand
Clay hopes that he can inspire local males to take their appearance seriously. “In other cities, I see men 80 to 8 years old, dress as if they actually care,” stated Clay. “For a complete look you not only need to be well-dressed but well-groomed. We dress men for all the roles of their life. There is the ‘casual guy,’ ‘work guy’ and ‘evening guy.’ Your skin, breath, hair and clothing all reflect your personal brand. Why not make it a strong one?”