By Mark Ambrogi
Susan Hawkins and her brother, Dennis Funkhouser, have always wanted to own a business.
Retired from their former jobs, the siblings decided to open the 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon, with its first day of business set for Feb. 11 at 14550 Clay Terrace Blvd. It is the first 18|8 franchise to open in Indiana. There are between 85 and 90 open nationally.
“We came across this and thought it was a great concept and great for Carmel,” Hawkins said. “I got into it originally, and Dennis kept asking questions, have you tried this. He got enthused about it and I said, ‘Why don’t you come do it with me?’”
The name, 18|8, comes from the original formula for stainless steel: 18 percent chromium plus 8 percent nickel added to steel.
“The best-performing, best-looking steel is stainless steel, so what we do is help men transform themselves to their best-looking self,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins, 58, lives in Carmel while Funkhouser, 61, lives on the west side of Indianapolis. Both graduated from Ben Davis High School.
Funkhouser was in property asset management for about 40 years, with his final position at Carmel-based J.C. Hart. Hawkins worked in sales for Boise Cascade, a paper company, for 30-plus years.
There are eight semi-private work stations, which include shampoo stations.
The services will cost in the $27 to $38 range. Complimentary beverages, including craft beers, are available.
Funkhouser said they don’t plan to add TV for sports viewing like some men’s salons.
“For us, it’s more about the experience, come in, relax and have an adult beverage and for 45 minutes be pampered,” he said. “It’s about the guy taking time to relax and not necessarily watch TV or worry about his phone pinging all the time.”
Other services are gray blending and coloring. Funkhouser said within 60 to 90 days, they plan to add manicure and pedicure services. There will be scalp treatments, hot lather shaves and waxing.
“When you think about a man grooming to look his best, all that’s going to be here,” Hawkins said.
There also is a thinning hair partnership with Bosley Hair Solutions.
“We have a national program called Eye on Cancer, which trains stylists when they are cutting hair to look for anything that might need to be checked out (by a doctor),” Hawkins said.