Blade and Bourbon: A Mad Men Inspired Collaboration
Aside from fat wallets and the envy of all their peers, what do Donald Draper and and Roger Sterling have in common? Damn. Good. Hair. And What else? Damn. Good. Offices. So while their chauvinistic womanizing had me cringing in every episode, I stuck out seven seasons of Mad Men to visually devour the style of these lead characters, their staff and surroundings—as any good Costume Design Theater Major would do. Heck, it’s our duty to watch period pieces in the sweet name of Research.
So I was pretty hyped when this collaboration with Blade and Bourbon came my way. Owner Chris Espinoza saw potential in an unassuming 1950’s office building while looking for a suitable Barber Shop location in Medford. Where many would have dismissed the space entirely or envisioned knocking down walls and gutting the building, Chris took a more make it work approach, with the style high advertising executive offices of Matthew Weiner’s hit show ‘Mad Men’ guiding the way.
Clearly he needed some iconic, mid century furnishings to pull this off, which is where Gold Dust Goods comes in. Rather than fill the place with cheap vintage reproductions, what if as many furnishings as possible are authentic to the period? Better yet, what if they are available for sale and switch out periodically so that much like the offices of Mad Men season to season, customers are surprised with new surroundings and seating options every time they drop in for a fresh cut? Heck yes!
With two van loads we filled the space with our most Donald Draper worthy inventory and Chris intermingled it with his sleek barber’s stations and fab floor coverings in full confidence. I hoped to be more involved with this part of the process and lay claim to the styling of the space, but with a short window to opening on Thanksgiving weekend and family in town it didn’t work out that way. And it turned out swell. I showed up a couple days later and snapped these photos to capture this first incarnation of Blade and Bourbon, all fresh and whisker-free.
What I really dig about this collaboration is getting to know Chris (center) and his 'let's make it fun and build community' focus. His intention with B&B stems from fond memories of going to the barber shop as a child with his father; a boy’s club of sorts, where he watched his Dad come alive as a Man independent of his familial role; witty, funny, relaxed and at home among his peers.
Blade and Bourbon is a place to come together, take a load off and get a hand at putting your best foot forward in the world. As the name implies customers are offered a free bourbon while they wait and a free cigar for the road. Traditional hot towel shaves and hand crafted cuts are on the menu, and a good joke is always encouraged.
Go to Blade and Bourbon to learn more about their hours, services and location. And if you’re so theatrically inclined, come dressed in your finest wing tips and shift dresses and join us for their official grand opening, Mad Men Christmas Party style: