By Steve Yablonski
Twist of fate changes owner’s career path leading up to a business in Central Square
Growing up in Mattydale, William Dave Wescott loved going to the barbershop “for a new cut and just loved the atmosphere— it was always sports talk and laid back.”
When he graduated from high school, he went into the automotive industry as a mechanic. However, in 2010 his life was changed in the blink of an eye.
“I was in a really bad car accident. I was actually leaving the barbershop on my lunch break to head back to my auto mechanics job. Getting on 481 to head back, someone hit me going 70 mph,” he said. “My neck and back were injured. That’s when everything changed. The life I knew was about to look a little different.”
Following the accident, he was pulled from work—told he wouldn’t be able to do the job he’d been doing again.
“I was married. My wife and I had just bought a new house. It certainly wasn’t the best timing,” he recalled. “Losing your job and income, as a man, it doesn’t make you feel great. I felt lost; didn’t know what I was going to do or want to do.”
All of the 9 to 5 great benefit jobs went through his mind daily. But his wife, Jenna, kept telling him, “You’ll never be happy at those.”
“I knew she was right. A desk job just never was for me,” he said.
A friend of his wife’s offered help; her father worked through Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.
“Since I was out of work for a year, that program offered assistance, helped in finding a new career path. I’m forever grateful to him,” Wescott said.
“My wife was already in the hair industry for seven years and insisted I’d love barbering. I didn’t think I wouldn’t; but I also was nervous to try something totally out of my scope,” he said. “I always loved the atmosphere though and it certainly wasn’t your typical 9 to 5. I didn’t think I would get bored with it. That’s where it all started.”
After attending barber school, he knew where he wanted to work.
“Nick’s Barbershop where I’d been going to get my cuts—that’s where I wanted to go and learn,” he said. “I learned from some of the best for the last 10 years and value the experience I got as a barber there.”
“Nick’s has two locations, in Liverpool where I worked for eight years and North Syracuse where I worked for two years. Nick’s son, Dan, is the owner now,” he added.
During that time he realized being a barber wasn’t just cutting hair, it’s the interaction, meeting new people—and the atmosphere.
Wescott wanted to create his own atmosphere “closer to where my wife and I call home.”
His brother, Mathew, had recently started barbering and wanted to help him create this vision, Westcott said. They now work together.
“We knew the atmosphere we wanted to create. We just didn’t know exactly how,” he said. “That’s where my wife comes in. She’s the visionary that helped make it come to life. She’s owned MKW Salon in Liverpool for seven years and has an eye for this kind of stuff. So I let her run with it.”
Wescott’s Village Barbershop, located at 2187 county Route 12 in Central Square, opened on Jan. 18.
“It’s truly family-owned-and-operated, every detail of it. It is currently just me and my brother,” Wescott said. “We knew we wanted to create an atmosphere that brought you back to that old school shop experience. Classic and simple—the nostalgia of going to the barbershop as a kid.
“That is where our tagline came from. One football Sunday, my team had just won while my brother and our wives sat trying to figure something that really made sense for the feel we were trying to get across. That is how ‘where vintage American style meets modern and classic cuts’ was born. We’re trying to set a new standard, vintage, comfortable, family-friendly and a place you really look forward to going back to.
“There’s a little something for everyone. Our decor is vintage eclectic with a lot of history. It’s fun for our clients to see what we’ve added and our clients have also added stuff for us. We hope to be around for many years to come.”