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Barbershop Boasts Vintage Vibe
Published Thursday, April 27, 2017

Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's, gives a clip to a customer. Photo by Scott Murphy.

When a customer asked Josh Craggy about his plan for Lucky’s Barbershop & Shave Parlor, his answer was simple: “Sell my old ’53 Chevy, set up the vintage barbershop chairs I bought and continue doing what I love.”

Since he put that plan into motion in 2010, Lucky’s has grown from a four-chair, two-man operation to a bustling hidden gem on State Street in Concord. And his next step is expanding into Portsmouth.

Craggy and his staff are doing all this while maintaining a vintage vibe and mindset lifted straight from your grandfather’s barbershop.

A Concord native, Craggy says his father introduced him to barbering. With a long line at the local shop, he brought Craggy back home, handed him clippers and told him to get to work. For Craggy, “It was game on from that day forward. I immediately fell in love with the craft.”

Though he continued cutting hair for family, Craggy didn’t consider pursuing barbering professionally until he saw a commercial on WMUR for Michael’s School of Hair Design and Esthetics. Craggy says the school was the first available program of its kind since the last barbering school in NH closed shop in the late 1970s, as the increasing popularity of salons and retirement of many old-school barbers led to decreased demand.

In 2000, Craggy graduated with his license and found a job at a local barber, alongside a fellow Michael’s graduate and two Korean War veterans whose 50-year barbering careers began on a Navy ship sailing in the Pacific.

After several years of working under their wing, Craggy’s mentors retired and the shop owner expressed interest in converting the shop into a barbering school. With the “real life financial concerns of your mid-20s” setting in, Craggy decided to launch his own barbershop and help preserve the craft in the Granite State.

“I tried to leverage the best parts of what I’d learned up to that point,” he says. “I wanted to stay true to the barbers that came before me while also creating an environment that would be comfortable for me and my team and enticing to customers.”

Craggy’s homage to a bygone era is immediately apparent when stepping into Lucky’s, with antique décor sourced from old industrial factories and barbershops. When customers come in, they add their  names to a whiteboard, then wait in a room outfitted with a fireplace, pool table and book shelves.

The waiting room includes a pool table. Photo by Scott Murphy.

Once their name is called and they sit down in one of eight vintage, red and white barbershop chairs, one of Lucky’s barbers spends upwards of an hour on their hair or beard, using both modern electric clippers as well as old-fashioned straight edge razors.

Though Lucky’s team emulates the techniques of your grandfather’s favorite barber, they all have a distinctly modern flair, as evidenced by their tattoo sleeves, modern hairstyles and chic shirt, tie and vest ensembles.

Lucky’s offers haircuts for men, women and children, and, since opening a decade ago, Craggy says word of mouth advertising has steadily grown his clientele with a healthy group of regulars. Business quickly grew enough to demand a larger team, and Lucky’s now has a staff of eight barbers, all of whom stopped in for a haircut before they came on board.

Now in his 10th year of business, Craggy decided it was time to expand. He was approached by Papa Wolf Supply Co. in Portsmouth, a brick and mortar mercantile shop selling local, handcrafted goods, to see if he’d be interested in barbering on site.

With some of Lucky’s regulars coming from Northwood and Kittery, Maine, Craggy decided it was worth taking the shop to the Seacoast and is planning to start offering haircuts this month.

Craggy is adding an appointment section on Lucky’s website for the Papa Wolf shop, and has plans to eventually launch a mobile scheduling app. He and his staff will rotate shifts between the Concord and Portsmouth locations to ensure the new shop is a “slice of the creative, quality environment we already have.”

“Papa Wolf shares our affinity for the traditional, handcrafted style of the pre-war era,” adds Craggy. “Portsmouth has an artisanal community of small business owners that we’re excited to join.”

For more information, visit luckysbarbershop.biz.

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