–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: July 07, 2020
After over a year of preparation, Kevin Clay has opened his new men’s grooming boutique and spa venture, House of Him, at 5646 Summit St. He leased the space from building owner Jennifer Linehan, of Beautiful Blooms by Jen, shortly after he heard she was relocating her shop to Main Street.
“Last March, one of my clients mentioned that Jen was moving and I made arrangements later that day to lease the building,” Clay remembered.
He said the permitting process took a very long time and it wasn’t until this January that he was able to begin the renovation work. “Actually, the COVID-19 shutdown gave us the opportunity to complete the work, as we were unable to operate the men’s grooming area in V Collection,” he reflected.
Transforming the former flower shop into the House of Him required reconfiguring the space and completely changing the environment. The building itself was repainted, reflecting the black, grey and white interior that now welcomes clients.
A lounge area, complete with an espresso bar and comfortable seating, along with a large flat screen television replaces the former floral showroom. The grooming area is in an expanded space that formerly housed the floral designers work area and storage space. Eight grooming stations are strategically spaced throughout the open area, keeping clients in accepted socially distance spacing while allowing stylists the same protection. The former gift area in front of the building has been retrofitted into a staff break room.
The second floor will house a massage therapist and nail technician specializing in pedicures.
Even the back yard has been incorporated into the transformation. A private area with two putting greens has been developed allowing clients to relax, practice their game, or enjoy a cigar if they choose. According to Clay, a humidor will be available to hold cigars for clients who wish to have their favorite brands to smoke in the privacy of the patio area.
“This is more than a place to get your hair cut,” Clay explained. “Everyone needs to feel as if he belongs. The House of Him is a place where men can belong, thanks to the membership program we have established. This is a place where they can relax, talk with other men, find refuge and be well groomed at the same time.”
The seeds for his new endeavor were planted more than a quarter century ago when Clay, at the age of 10, began cutting hair for his family. He soon learned how a good haircut made people feel better about themselves and improved their overall attitude. He also knew at that early age that he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. It wasn’t until much later that he realized the two interests could work hand-in-hand to accomplish his mission.
Clay continued to cut hair, earning money all through school, including his time at the University of Toledo. However, cutting hair as a profession was not part of what Clay was planning to do with his life at that time.
A chance meeting with Valentine Ononye of VCollection and VCouture became a life changing experience for Clay.
“He has been my mentor and great friend. I continue to learn so much from him,” he noted. “It was Valentine who first suggested that I could accomplish something on this scale. He encouraged me to follow my passion and helped me realize I could do much more than just offer haircuts. He really planted the idea that we can be instrumental about putting men on a journey to greatness and self- discovery.”
When Ononye opened V Collection on Main Street in downtown Sylvania on 11-11-11, Clay was there with his Barber Lounge in a small corner of the store. The success of that endeavor has led to Clay’s need to expand to the creation of the House of Him and all that it represents.