Andre Perrin knew he wanted to be a barber before he graduated high school. He convinced his parents to help him with his passion and, with their help, he opened his first shop. He has never looked back since.
Now, nearly 30 years later, Perrin’s barbershop, Bespoke Men’s Hair Spa in Teaneck, New Jersey, is not only thriving but is also being recognized for its contribution to the community. Perrin’s barbershop is unique in that it is inclusive. From the start, Perrin hired Black, Asian barber, Latinx, and white barbers—catering to all hair textures and all walks of life.
“[I hired] everybody,” Perrin said. “I didn’t want to be limited. It’s exciting to learn something new,” Perrin told NJ.com.
Perrin is regarded as one of the most impactful small business owners in Teaneck, known for championing unity and integration across cultures. Because of his vision, his customers and employees have learned about other cultures, their hair, traditions and personal stories.
“It’s not just going in and getting a haircut. . . . You get to have the human relations everyone in this world should be having, treating each other with kindness and making sure that no matter what background…that everyone is treated properly,” Deputy Mayor Elie Katz, told NJ Advance Media.
And Perrin’s shop has a strict rule. No one can speak on race, politics, religion, or sexuality in a disparaging way. His commitment to cultural awareness and its impact has not gone unnoticed. In October 2020, the township renamed the street where his barbershop is located to “Bespoke/Dre Perrin Way.”
Perrin has also inspired dozens of other barbers to open their own business and hopes the next generation of Black entrepreneurs will consider his formula.
“With barbers and clientele from all different types of ethnicities, we are proud to be the place any person from any race can come in and not only get treated like family but leave feeling confident. We believe it is more than just a haircut, but an overall experience, “ Perrin stated.