Passionate Founder & Bolt’s Chief Barber
Matt Berman spent 25 unfulfilling years chasing cheese in the corporate world in senior marketing and general management positions with such corporate icons as Procter & Gamble, Coty, Novartis, and Royal Numico (later acquired by Groupe Danone), before bolting to become a barber. Matt aka “Mohawk Matt” because of the haircut he usually rocks since leaving the corporate bullpen, has lived, worked, and gotten his haircut in Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, & Warsaw. Matt who is actually proud to admit he spent his early years growing up in The Bronx, became a licensed state barber in July, 2009. Matt’s biggest failue was ignoring his childhood passion for barbering & barbershops, instead influenced to attach himself to the stiff corporate world (“It sucked” laments Berman) which made mediocrity out of Matt. Tired of getting fired every 18 months from high responsibility/low authority positions at Big FMCG Global Companies, Mohawk settled in DTLA in February 2008 and founded Bolt Barbers a year later opening Bolt’s first location (Our DTLA Flagship) on 11/12/2009. His advice to unhappy exec’s: “Pursue your passion, not your position”.
Bolt’s “Etch A Sketch” Barber, Monkey House on Melrose
Brandon Mass, as he is known on the tribe is our artistic barber with an uncanny ability to etch a sketch onto your skull. Most middle income, mid level, corporate executives avoid Brandon at all costs as the threat of having him etch “I hate my fucking job” is simply too tempting for risk adverse corporate ladder squatters to bear. But fear not, our belongist friends, Brandon can execute your regular business man’s hair cut, comb-over, or male pattern baldness trim up with the skill and sophistication you’d expect from a high end upscale salon in one of LA’s tony suburbs. Not that he’d want to, mind you!
CJ was glad to get fired from Hometown Buffet, at age 17, only two weeks into the job. Growing up in Montebello, friends called him Quichee, but he now prefers his adult nickname of C.J. He aspired to become a Police Officer, until he changed tunes and enrolled at The Royal Hair Institute. School didn’t bring out the patience in CJ…he once shaved a guys eyebrow off, defending his actions because “the guy refused to sit still” He stopped giving romance advice after he suggested a client dump his girl later learning they eventually married. CJ has been a Barber since the age of 14. His Father is a Barber, his brother is a Barber, and his babies will be Barbers. When he isn’t cutting hair, C.J. lifts weights, or pretends to lift weights.
Bolt’s Ex Con Barber, DTLA Flagship
Shane is a reformed felon, spending his younger years as a bank robber in his native Los Angeles. Growing up, Shane aspired to become a Pilot, but ended up working in the culinary kitchen at prison, until enrolling in barber school at the United States Penitentary at LOMPOC. He has been cutting hair for over a decade, overcoming some of his early mishaps, such as cutting off the rat tail of a fellow prisoner, accidentally he claims. Shane is a “No Bull” barber so if you are losing your hair and ask his advice, don’t be surprised to leave his chair smooth shaven, just as he is.
Bolt’s Suburban Barber, DTLA Flagship
Denise, proud to reign the “Studio City” scene, claims she is the “Master Barber” within our tribe. She has been cutting hair and shaving faces for over 20 years….which she learned how to do on drunken fellas who could barely stay in the chair at barber school. Growing up as “Deni”, she graduated from the now defunct California Barber School, whose closure was unrelated to the liability connected with her graduation. Denise, like our other barbers, encourages dudes to embrace their hair loss, unless they can afford a really good rug. Also a Makeup Artist, Denise has done makeup on the sets of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Who’s Your Daddy, and Dantes peak. On top of all of this she is also a talented painter.
..Mr Happy Feet
Shoe Shinesman, DTLA Flagship
Kevin Dixon aka “Mr Happy Feet” has been shining shoes for over 40 years. He was trained by Chambers, East LA’s finest Slauson Ave shoe shine family, and does a mean Military Spit Shine. Mr Happy Feet is a distinguished alumni of The Midnight Mission, whose plight it is to help the homeless re-establish themselves into society. Kevin was featured in Remy Haynes “The Currency Project”, which profiled 18 Optimistic Leaders who re established themselves as a consequence of the recession, and serves as a mentor and inspiration, both to many of LA’s residentially challenged community, and to those of us privileged enough to spend some time with Happy Feet. He often gives dating advice, most recently to Conan O’Brien’s Recently Unemployed Graphic Artist, Pierre Bernard…to whom he suggested “Just Be Yourself” with the girls.
Phillip DeCastro aka “Phil The Drill”
Phillip, our “Okie from Muskokie” grew up in the “Fly Over” state of Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma City University, before bailing on Oklahoma’s rich “Black Gold” reserves to pan handle for Real Gold in Southern California. Unsuccessful on the banks of the Los Angeles River, life has not always been easy for this mid western fraternity dude. His credit card was once declined for purchasing a cup of coffee. We found “Phil The Drill” in the tony Brentwood suburb fitting celebrity feet with the latest Nike offering. Nowadays, Phillip is Director of Retail Operations for Bolt’s fledgling empire, encompassing our DTLA Flagship, Monkey House on Melrose, Amazon.com storefront, forsocialbeasts.com Grooming Online Site, & Mindbody Store. Phillip was recently convinced to stop cutting his own hair, and as a consequence was recently married to his OKCU university sweet heart.
Bolt’s Chill Barber, DTLA Flagship
Jose, entered The American Barber College after an unsuccessful attempt to build a career at K-Mart. During his schooling, Jose was required to graduate shaving balloons without popping them before he was allowed to manhandle a str8 edge razor against flesh. Jose is our chill barber because he is passionate about living a drama free life. He is inspired by family, being successful, and being happy.
Pablo Perez Prado
Pablo, a cherry cola addict, graduated from The Royal Hair Institute in 2001, and has been shearing and shaving ever since. Pablo is sympathetic to the needs of the homeless in DTLA, once actually letting a homeless person into Bolt in the wee hours of the am to sample Bolt’s Root Beer and take home some testers, while Pablo grabbed a snooze in one of our Koken’s.
After being instructed that Bolt’s Hairy Beast Card required purchase of a service, and was not good for after hours entry to Bolt’s premises, Pablo relocated himself to DTLA so that he could offer homeless assistance and beverages at his “Roslyn Mission” on Main Street. Pablo loves shearing pompaduers and flat tops, but is pretty fucking good shearing anything else too. Did we mention he enjoys Cherry Cola?
Bolt’s Fixture of Downtown Barber, DTLA Flagship (Naturally!)
Craig, originally from L.A., was asked to leave the state in 1975 and immigrated to Utah, where he attended The Academy of Barber Sciences in Salt Lake. The prestigious institute, sandwiched between a dive bar and a strip club in a blighted part of town, was a speakeasy of sorts for drunken Mormans. It offered them a $1.35 haircut which included a swig of Bay Rum. He returned to LA in 1982, with the ambition of becoming an actor. Nowadays, Craig enthusiastically provides sympathetic advice to drunken dive bar dudes concerned about hair loss, often for as little as the cost of a mug of Pabst Blue Ribbon. To theses dudes he simply confides “I’m sorry for your loss”.
Flavio has become somewhat of a mascot for Bolt Barbers. He makes an appearance each and every ArtWalk (Second Thursday of each Month) and has become the most photographed “person” at Bolt Barbers.
Flavio gained fame and media attention when Ellen DeGeneres purchased his twin brother from a prop house on LaBrea and presented it to Conan O’Briens Stage set as a house warming gift for the newly arrived late night talk show host on the Warner Bros Lot. Flavio often offers news and/or specials, so check his chalkboard out to see what’s up if you are not around facebook, but need stay in the know.
The Preacher is not officially on the tribe at Bolt Barbers. But any visit to our DTLA Flagship without mention of him would be incomplete, so here he is. We don’t know too much about him. He lives in the Hotel Alexandria and preaches from the NorthWest corner of Fifth & Spring Streets daily from 10A-Noon and again from 2P-4P. We don’t even actually understand what he is saying, except “Praise God”, which most of us agree with!
Dude Greeter, Monkey House on Melrose
Adam, known growing up in his native Virginia as “A-Bomb” attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where he studied Communications. Those skills helped parlay Adam into becoming an incredibly funny man, and when not dude greeting, Adam can be found on the stand up circuit including frequent appearances at the nearby Improv across from The Monkey House. When asked during interviews “Why do you want to work at Bolt?”, Adam responded “To experience funny shit i can use as material in my stand up routine.” That clinched the job as dude greeter at Bolt..cause all we need to hear before we make a hiring decision is that one wacky answer…..and “You’re in Adam”