Darius Davie, the visionary owner of Groom Guy, brings a fresh perspective to the luxury grooming industry. Groom Guy emerged a few years ago when Davie, with nearly a decade of experience, began asking critical questions about the future of the business. His journey led him to discover a unique niche at the intersection of haircare and hospitality.
Inspired by early 20th-century entrepreneurial trailblazers like Alonzo Herndon, George Myers, and John Merrick, who excelled in luxury grooming, Davie set out to revolutionize the barber experience.
TN: Partnering with the PGA Tour is a significant achievement. How did this collaboration come about, and what does it mean for Groom Guy?
Darius Davie: Partnering with the esteemed golf property came about after the success of our first Groom Guy location in Washington, DC. We launched during the height of the pandemic. The decision-makers at PGA National took notice of what we were able to achieve independently at Yours Truly Hotel – Vignette Collection and wanted to present a new opportunity that was aligned with our unique service and business model.
TN: Luxury barber shops often offer unique and personalized experiences. What can clients expect when they visit a Groom Guy barbershop?
DD: They can expect one of the most important things: time to be taken seriously. On some occasions, we can find ourselves in compromising positions inside a typical barbershop. At Groom Guy, we ask all the questions before the clippers even turn on because ultimate relaxation is our priority. We don’t rush you. Clients can expect our team to pay attention to details so you don’t have to. Falling asleep in our chairs is the biggest compliment.
TN: How do you ensure that Groom Guy promotes inclusivity and serves a diverse clientele while maintaining a luxury atmosphere?
DD: That’s an ongoing practice of ours. It’s never our effort to exclude. Anyone and everywhere who seeks a grooming experience that starts with a basic haircut can achieve that. Our consultations are vitally important and remain consistent across the board and any location, focusing on how we can best advise your specific needs. When dealing with luxury, it carries housekeeping rules to ensure a welcoming and presentable environment.
TN: Besides grooming services, community engagement is also a major part of the Groom Guy brand. Can you share more about your commitment to giving back and supporting local communities?
DD: We believe we’re only as good as the next generation we teach. I understand there’s a whole student body aiming to be successful in the beauty-hospitality industry, but they may be misguided or don’t have resources or tools. That’s where we come in. Most recently, we’ve made an effort to connect with vocational schools or high schools by introducing a comprehensive program to help graduate a new generation of barber stylists and industry professionals. We provide study material, scholarship information, school placement counsel, and other resources. Our most recent schooling effort was working with Ballou High School in Washington, DC.
We’re also currently working on a collaborative program next year with Howard U’s golf athletes on a mission to support their self-care journey as a collegiate championship team.
TN: The partnership with the PGA brings Groom Guy to golf events. How has the golf community responded to your services, and what impact has this had on the industry?
DD: PGA National, particularly, was excited to make it their mission to expand their lifestyle partnerships as the rebrand was taking shape. They wanted to command the attention of new viewers and guests by trying new campaigns, programs, and businesses altogether. The old ways of doing things challenged them.
Groom Guy fits perfectly within their creative direction of health and wellness while creating a unique offering, especially for golfers. Barbering, within the Groom Guy framework, has a unique ability to bring people together and establish a community. It has opened doors to connect with golf heavyweights like NBC’s Will Lowery, Dan Hicks, Steph Curry’s Underrated, APGA and others.
TN: Groom Guy also focuses on men’s wellness. Can you share some of the wellness and self-care services offered and why they are essential?
DD: For starters, we start with a thorough consultation gathering as much as we can regarding your previous experience. Other routine services include face masks for cleansing and exfoliation, body massages, and even manicures & pedicures courtesy of our Spa partners at PGA National. We also have grooming services like ears and nose waxes for those difficult spots at home.
We also keep an open line of communication with our email readily available to guide existing and prospective Groom Guy clients on the property to professional insight on all other grooming-related matters like hair loss or skin care-related issues.
TN: Building a successful business requires a strong vision. What future goals and aspirations do you have for Groom Guy?
DD: Our future goal for Groom Guy is to be the new hospitality authority in men’s self-care. That starts with expanding our hotel portfolio. We want to be the premiere company for luxury hotel brands considering wellness-related activations and projects. From barber studio build-outs, pop-ups, design, menu curation, and product placements, we’re a wheelhouse of talent for hospitality groups looking to make that shift. We also believe we can further integrate technology into our collaborative service style for a more seamless guest experience. I’m excited to reveal that as more details emerge.
Another big aspiration is allowing this vision to inspire someone to join us. I want to build a dynamic team of talent, both barber stylists and internally, that collectively believes we can positively influence the world through self-care.
TN: Representation and diversity are important in all industries. How do you see Groom Guy contributing to greater diversity within the luxury grooming sector?
DD: It’ll start with our enhancing partnership program and widening our net to groups and organizations with an appetite for luxury. We want to bridge the gap and promote representation by being a retail platform for product brands and other services that can enhance the overall luxury experience. We also aim to host various social events that are inviting to all connected through personal care. Diversity is further supported by creating a safe community space and social forums for dialogues, panels, etc.
TN: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those looking to make their mark in traditionally exclusive industries?
DD: Believe in your ideas and research to be the solution. It’s been said if you become the solution, you can accelerate the process around you. The blueprint is created right after you believe and study. Those combinations are key elements that helped transform my mindset towards being more confident and excited about what I can bring to any exclusive industry.