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Snapshot 04/04

Leo Rivera, 33, founder of Bishops Barbershop in Portland, Oregon
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Description: Rock 'n' roll-themed barbershops

Startup: $40,000 in 2001

2004 projected sales: $1.6 million in combined sales for the four Portland locations

A styling business: This former nightclub/restaurant marketing director struck a positive vibe among Gen Xers when he opened an old-school barbershop with a modern twist. Welcome to Bishops Barbershop, where a live DJ plays a mix of alternative and rock music, the stylists sport tattoos and work out of toolboxes, and concert posters cover the walls.

Marketing that rocks: Once applied to nightclubs and raves, Rivera's marketing tactics have made his barbershop a success. He offers free haircuts to public figures ranging from cocktail waitresses to local newscasters, letting them strut their stuff while promoting Bishops. His shop rocks with record releases and CD-listening parties. And he even turns waiting into a good time with free cans of beer.

Jamming results: Each store attracts an average of 90 to 130 customers per day, but hair isn't the only thing to go. Polishing off 190 cases per month, Bishops has become the biggest buyer of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in Oregon. As the business expands, residents of Las Vegas; San Francisco; Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; and possibly even Tokyo will rock out at a local Bishops Barbershop within the year.

Edition: May 2017

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