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Before opening the QG, I had a dream. Not really...but I did have a vision. In 2004 almost all barbershops were divided by the ethnicity based upon the skill set of the barbers. This resulted in de facto segregation of salons and barbershops albeit voluntary. Due to my decision to open in a business district, I wanted our staff to be able to cut all styles of hair that could possibly walk through the door to break that mold. Unfortunately this ideal was extremely tough to execute. Every local candidate that I met with worked in one of those barbershops mentioned above and were limited to their specific expertise. Only after several months of recruiting did I finally realize that a barber with experience from the military would have the skill set to execute my vision and with that hire we were off and running.
If someone asked me what is one accomplishment that I am most proud of achieving, desegregating our barbershop was at the top of my list. Based upon his writings, sermons and speeches, I think Dr. King is smiling down on us as he sees this occur daily at the QG .
This got me thinking. Would Dr King have been a customer or member of ours? After further research laid out below, I believe he would have really enjoyed all we offer at the QG.
Let's start on our founding of a truly traditional barbershop.
Here's an image of Dr. King in a traditional Theo A. Koch porcelain barber chair getting a service from a professional barber both in uniform and skill.
Dr. King had a sense of style that was not only in line with his mission work as a minister and civil rights leader, but it included touches of tasteful flair.
Here Dr. King is seen in the Oval Office speaking to the then President LBJ. His shirts were properly tailored showing the right amount of cuff and his cufflinks. From my research, he typically wore a gold Rolex watch. His ties were typically on the thin side compared to today's standards. Typical to the era of the 1950's and 60's.
Here is a younger Dr. King wearing a fedora and a sports coat with a pocket square.
Dr. King in his library wearing an embroidered shirt, similar to two or three of our shirt styles carried by QG every spring summer season.
Dr. King here in a suit we are most accustomed to seeing him photographed in. Many of the men he associated with like this gentleman also seemed to have a keen sense of style. This is another area we believe we agree with Dr. King. Start with the basics before venturing into the more adventurous clothing choices.
The QG has a few pool tables and we think it is one of the greatest social games ever invented. We have one at each of our barbershops and in our member's lounge on the 6th floor next to our speakeasy Clock Restoration. Wondering if Dr. King pulled off this shot.
Members have access to our downtown cigar lounge and each member has a smoking jacket similar to the one Dr. King is wearing in the picture above. Dr. King did smoke cigarettes and an occasional cigar. We could see him having a meeting or enjoying a smoke with his confidants. Unfortunately, it is suspected that he was infamously assassinated while stepping out for a cigarette on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis.
Bellying up at the bar. It looks like Dr. King could relax and have a few cold ones up at QG's Clock Restoration. We carried a few styles of shirts from Benson and Fundamental Coast with a similar "split" detail on the sleeves.
Dr. King looks like he had a fine meal and was known to be fond of "comfort food".
We hope some of the pictures and stories bring you fond thoughts of Dr. King as we approach this holiday honoring him. We think our vision and our membership would be something that would have been very attractive for Dr. King or at least I'd like to think so. We hope you are able to take some time this Monday to celebrate his life and what he and the movement stood for.
Craig, Founder of the QG
Some like it Hot!
So Dr. King did own a pair of jeans. By the way, is that a "shacket"? My staff didn't think I wore denim or owned a pair of shorts for the first five years of the business.
Distinguished! Might I even say a "Quinntessential Gentleman"?