In December 2021, the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists officially passed new regulations to allow mobile units. As soon as Man of the Woods Barbershop in Big Sky owner Kyle Pemberton heard the news, he jumped on the opportunity to serve clients through a mobile unit as quickly as possible.
The Man of the Woods Mobile Barbershop officially opened for business in February and is traveling to communities throughout the area, which includes stops each Thursday and Friday in Three Forks at Sacajawea Park.
Pemberton started the mobile barbershop with three things in mind.
"Providing a 5-star service to the surrounding small towns of Bozeman and beyond, utilizing the shop for special events, and to test markets for future potential brick and mortar locations in barber-less towns," he said.
According to Pemberton, the journey from hearing the news to opening the mobile shop was very interesting and a lot of work.
"We bought a 20' cargo trailer, had our Architect friend draw up some plans in order to utilize the small space properly and efficiently, and began the build. First, we gutted the trailer of its plywood interior and put in all-weather vinyl flooring. We then framed it in with 2x4 walls and insulated it with R13 insulation. We then punched two holes for big windows with lots of natural light and good views. We found it extremely challenging finding cool wall coverings and ceiling materials. Drywall does not work in this type of application from the moving around and moisture. It's also extremely heavy," said Pemberton. "It became a 'design on fly' situation. We utilized a company called Local Salvage and recycled lots of materials for the interior. It turned out beautiful, and it's all local Montana materials."
The entire buildout would take seven months, with just Pemberton and his dad working on it until they had to hire a plumber, electrician, and welder for the windows and a few small projects.
"After all, trailers weren't built to be Barbershops," said Pemberton. "So, after seven long months of nights and weekends, we finally finished and launched the shop on February 1."
The shop now travels to multiple locations throughout the week, including Three Forks, Bozeman, and Manhattan. Pemberton also hopes to move into Ennis and West Yellowstone this summer.
The Thursday and Friday schedule in Three Forks will continue into the summer.
"We have been pretty busy, but things are definitely picking up with word-of-mouth advertising. There are two full-time barbers currently, and you can book one week in advance or take your chances on walking in," Pemberton said.
The Man of the Woods Barbershop services includes Haircut, Straight Razor Shave, Beard Trim and Partial shave (lines), Kids cuts (12 and under), full head shave, Long Hair Trim, Skin Fade, and Military/Emergency Services.
For prices and to book an appointment, please visit http://www.motwbarber.com.
"We are here to provide an experience, and you just so happen to leave with an incredible haircut," Pemberton said.