We've made the Times Argus....again
Article published Jun 5, 2015
Barbershop debuts with arts fundraiser
By Gina Conn
MONTPELIER — A new barbershop has opened in town, and its owners kicked off their new business by fundraising for the local arts scene.
Myles Court Barbershop’s opening was last Thursday and for one week the shop raised money for Lost Nation Theater. Owner Paul Somerset said they were able to raise just under $2,000.
“We had a huge outpouring of support for the Lost Nation,” said Somerset.
Folks at the shop suggested a donation of $15 that could either go to Lost Nation Theater or the Humane Society. Customers would donate in exchange for a haircut.
Somerset said that Lost Nation Theater has always had a place in his heart, ever since he moved to Montpelier five years ago from Addison County.
“I decided that Montpelier was going to be OK to live in because of the theater. I could get out of my garden clothes once in a while and go down to the theater,” he said.
Somerset said Kathleen Keenan who is both the producing artistic director for Lost Nation Theater and the lead in “Always, Patsy Cline,” which opened Thursday night, came in to get her hair cut. Somerset said he planned to hand over the money raised to Lost Nation at the opening.
Myles Court is more than just a hair cutting joint, but an experience, said Somerset.
“We offer traditional barber services in a traditional barber setting,” he said.
The shop offers cuts, hot shaves, hot towels and moisturizing.
“It’s unisex,” he said. “We do women’s hair too but we focus a lot on men.”
The barbershop was named after its street intersection at East State Street and Miles Court. Somerset said he and his partner, Sean Meyers, decided to change the spelling to Myles because they wanted the name to have a more English feel, as the style of the shop in general is English in nature. Meyers said traditional barbershops may be less popular than they used to be in the United States, but that is not true for England, which he said he visits often.
Somerset said that he opened the place with his co-barber Todd Wheeler in mind, who he called the certified master barber and barber to the stars. Wheeler moved to Vermont just six weeks ago from Los Angeles for the opportunity.
Wheeler said he and his father have cut hair together for about 30 films in Hollywood. In the shop, Wheeler has a photograph of his father cutting the hair of Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of “This Boy’s Life.” His father trained him to cut hair, and Wheeler’s first solo gig was “Batman Returns,” which starred Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer. He also cut hair for the cast of “Independence Day.”
Wheeler, who has been cutting hair for 27 years, said he was the youngest licensed barber in the state of California at the age of 17. Neither he nor his father were allowed to receive screen credit for the films because that would require them to be in a union, at least when you are the key hair stylist, according to Wheeler.
He has been enjoying his new life in Vermont. “I lived in L.A. for 24 years and in six weeks here I’ve made more lifelong friends that I’ll keep until the day I die than I made in 24 years,” he said.
Somerset said more fundraisers may be down the road. “I just love being a part of the community,” he said.