By Teri Carnicelli
On July 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972—58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official—that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States, thanks to President Richard Nixon.
According to The History Channel, the campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm—perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”
And yet, today economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts. Still, there’s no question that men can be a little more difficult to shop for then women. And finding something fun, unique, different, cool … or just plain “perfect” can be quite the challenge.
To help you in your shopping endeavors for Father’s Day, which is June 15, we’ve compiled a list of unique businesses geared toward men that will help you complete that just-right gift quest.
4859 N. 20th St.,
Town & Country Shopping Center
The store is part of the family of “My Sister’s Closet” businesses, but catering to, and for, men specifically. From Armani and Versace to True Religion and Rock & Republic, the store carries a wide variety of designers at nicely discounted prices, since the inventory is nearly all consignment. Each item is closely inspected to make sure it is suitably “gently used.”
This is not “thrift” shopping, says head stylist Tess Loo. “Well Suited is the crème de la crème of designer recycled boutiques and we have customers from Alaska to Hawaii who tell us the same.”
Well Suited isn’t just suits and ties. You can find better clothing and accessories ranging from Tommy Bahama shorts to tuxedos, cowboy hats, belts, wallets, watches, sunglasses, briefcases, shoes, cufflinks and more. There are more than 100,000 consigners in Well Suited’s database.
Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
13602 N. Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Owner Rich Glisson has been in business more than 30 years, starting out by selling handmade cowboy hats out of the back of his pickup truck while following the rodeo circuit around the country. “After many conversations with cowboys I found that most sent their cowboy hats to Texas to be cleaned and re-blocked,” he recalls.
Glisson learned how to craft hats from swaths of felt made from steamed and pressed animal fur. He also learned the cleaning and blocking techniques that can restore a hat. Today, his store carries a little over $1 million in inventory and approximately 10,000 hats—Australian, Western, fedora, Panama, straw, golf caps and more.
“I get younger customers coming in looking for a hat to wear out on a Saturday night, but my standard customers are still the ranchers and cattleman that wear them every single day,” he says.
Glisson can customize at hat to any head, so the fit is just right. He has customers from all over the country, since “hatmaking is a dying art,” he explains. “There are only a handful of us left in the United States. We are now the largest shop in the southwest.”
In addition to the handcrafted hats, the store also offers a large selection of brand-name hats, including: Akubra, Bailey, Dobbs, Resistol, Serratelli, Stetson, Scala, Dorfman Pacific and Head’n Home.
“ The most popular hat style we have right now is the Fedora,” Glisson says. “That’s the style that people remember their fathers or grandfathers wore.” The hats are from the ’20s and ’30s, but have recently come back into style, he adds.
Also a hot seller is the Pork Pie, which saw a huge resurgence in popularity thanks to the controversial TV show, “Breaking Bad.”
“A lot of it just depends on the age group and the purpose you are going to use the hat for, your own style and attitude.”
Store hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Dapper + Dash
Various Retail Locations
Stylish. Classic. You wouldn’t think people would use these words today to describe the bow tie. And yet, “the bow tie is a striking accessory that hints at old-fashioned sensibilities but couldn’t be more modern,” says Aaron Kimberlin, co-owner of this unique downtown Phoenix business.
Dapper + Dash celebrates this vintage men’s accessory by adaptively reusing vintage clothing and other vintage materials to create a product as unique as the man who will wear it. The skilled crafters begin with the essentials; only the best vintage ties and materials are considered. Once they pass the test, these materials, often found buried in closets and long forgotten, find new life. The materials are repurposed, cut by hand and stitched into one of three patterns to create dapper bow ties for a dashing man.
The packaging also is produced locally with an eye to sustainability: each bow tie is distributed in repurposed sturdy, lightweight handcrafted tube, stamped by hand with the Dapper + Dash logo then sent to its final destination.
Bowtie styles include the Gatsby, Churchill, Dagwood and Huckleberry. Prices range from $48 to $52. The company also offers kerchiefs ($20), limited collection neckties ($62) and will do custom work.
The products can be found locally at Frances, 10 W. Camelback Road (602-279-5467), and Cleo & Clementine, 704 W. Montecito Ave. in the Melrose District (602-264-4848).
Keep It Cut
2824 E. Indian School Road
Let’s face it—some men need a haircut and a facial trim more than just once a month. But frequent visits to the salon can put an unhappy dent in the wallet. Keep It Cut was opened in September 2013 by Jacob Meltzer and Joshua Thorsvik, young entrepreneurs who wondered how they could make getting a haircut more affordable. The answer is a unique subscription-based payment concept.
Keep It Cut is celebrating dads this Father’s Day by offering them free haircuts … for a year. From June 9-15, any dad who walks in to Keep It Cut and buys a haircut is entered into a drawing for a free yearlong membership.
Monthly memberships start at just $23, which gives the well-groomed man an unlimited number of haircuts for the month. Other packages include additional services, such as unlimited grooming and unlimited washing. All members get 20-percent off hair products. There also are a la carte prices, which are $15 for a haircut, $6 for grooming and $4 for a wash.
Hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
AZ Man Cave
11649 N. Cave Creek Road, #8
AZ Man Cave on Facebook
As one online reviewer puts it, “It’s like a yard sale specifically for guys.” This consignment and collectibles shop geared toward men opened in August 2011. You can find things to decorate the man in your life’s office, sports room, basement or garage. AZ Man Cave has just under 3,000 square feet of space filled with tin and neon beer signs, tools, model cars, posters, camping and hunting equipment, record albums, sports memorabilia, farm and military antiques, old electronics and cameras and much more. Right now, there is even a large mounted deer head on consignment, perfect for dressing up a true “man cave.”
Lenny Cowles, owner, says it’s a great shopping center to spend a couple of hours in, with a variety of antique stores and unique boutiques. He says shoppers tend to start at one end of the strip center and work their way over to the other.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays.
2432 W. Peoria Ave., Ste. 1098
At the ripe old age of 28, Razor Emporium owner Matt Pisarcik is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on vintage razors and accessories and receives razors from as far away as Dubai to replate (gold or silver) and refurbish.
A passionate collector, Pisarcik turned his hobby into a thriving, rapidly growing business that began online and morphed into a new retail location and corporate headquarters in Phoenix. Pisarcik offers vintage Gillette double-edge safety razor handles, vintage straight razors, Edwin Jagger modern DE razor handles, blades, strops, shaving soaps, brushes, creams and aftershaves. He also offers restoration services such as polishing/plating, razor repair and sharpening.
Pisarcik consults with each customer to determine what his budget is and what kind of razors and accessories would work for him considering his hair texture, skin needs, etc. Need a demonstration on how to use or condition your razor? Pisarcik is happy to offer help and advice at the shop.
“It has been a lifelong dream to have a business that is also my passion,” Pisarcik says. “We have made a name for ourselves in this niche market, which will just continue to grow thanks to the return of the traditional shave.”
Pricing varies from $20 to $200 for straight razors and brushes from $20 to $80. Hours of operation are 12-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays.