Matt Park is the sole owner of the new barbershop located at 118 S Main Street, which will open this summer.
Hare & Crow is the name of the business.
“Hare & Crow will be a full-service barbershop offering haircuts for men and boys, beard and mustache trims, and hot lather razor shaves,” Park said. “Our aim is to bring back the barbershop experiences of a bygone era reminiscent of the 1900’s architecture and small-town charm Fort Scott is built on.”
He sees it as also a gathering place for the community.
“This will be a place to sit and chew the fat with friends and neighbors whether you need a haircut or not—loafers are more than welcome,” Park said. “Our space will be comfortable and inviting with a lounge feel for those waiting for their turn in the chair.”
“We plan to sell some retail items; mostly related to men’s hair and grooming, but hope to offer other items such as locally roasted coffee, chocolates, and handmade wood and leather goods from local and regional artisans,” he said. ” We hope to incorporate a curated selection of books, music and art too.”
“I am currently in school at Headlines Barber Academy up in Kansas City, on the Kansas side,” Park said. “It’s a bit of a commute, but it’s the closest barber school to Fort Scott.”
He and his wife, Krista, have three daughters and one son.
“I cut all of their hair and have been known to cut my wife’s hair as well,” he said. “So, women and girls are welcome too.”
Why Fort Scott?
“My wife, Krista, and I both grew up in the Midwest,” he said. ” We met at school not too far from here in Bolivar, MO.”
“Krista spent many summers during her childhood visiting her grandmother in Fort Scott and she had so many fond memories of those visits,” he said. ” In July of 2019, we experienced a loss in the family that left us questioning our distance from family. We spent the majority of our marriage living in the South and were ready to come home.”
“Helen Carson is my wife’s maternal grandmother,” he said. “Helen has lived here most of her life and once owned Helen’s Hilltop Fabrics. Her family has been in the area going back several generations.”
“We wanted to move to a small town where we could raise our four children with a little less noise and start a business that would serve the local community,” Park said. “As we began contemplating a move back to the Midwest, Fort Scott stood out to us as a place to slow down a bit, embrace our heritage here and put down lasting roots closer to family. We moved here in July 2020 from Tennessee and this place already feels more like home than anywhere we’ve lived over the last 15 years.”
Reading a book formed a new business idea.
“About the same time we started talking about moving, I read a book by Wendell Berry called Jayber Crow written from the perspective of a barber in a small town,” Park said. “That story was so formative for me that I began looking into the profession of barbering.”
“When we landed on the decision to move to Fort Scott and realized there was no longer a barber in town, we began looking into schools in the area and I enrolled shortly after we moved to town,” he said.
Why the name Hare & Crow?
“I wanted to tip my hat to Wendell Berry’s book, Jayber Crow, because it was so formative for me,” Park said. “Hare really just started out as a play on words suggested by my brother in-law. I was concerned naming the place Crow’s barbershop might be confusing because my name isn’t Crow. So, I started looking for characters in other stories and when Hare was suggested it just fit the idea of storied characters. It almost has a fable-like ring to it. ”
They are loft dwellers in downtown Fort Scott.
“We bought a building downtown on Main Street, live upstairs and plan to open our shop in the storefront on the ground floor,” he said. “We are eager to open our little shop and become part of the fabric of this community. Once I complete school and receive my barbering license we’ll be ready to open our doors this summer.”