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Conversations with the Inspiring Becca Romero

Today we’d like to introduce you to Becca Romero.

Becca, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After years of working in ad agencies and tech start-ups, I got bored of being stuck behind a computer all day. I wanted to change career paths in a way that I could indulge my love of fashion and also be up and about engaging with people. I starting doing clothing consultations on a few of my male friends, and found the process very time-intensive; we spent hours at the mall looking for the pieces I envisioned for my clients and spent even more time booking barber services. That’s where the idea for Spruce came from– a need for a place that offers head-to-toe services to help people transform their style. Spruce offers barber services, complementary clothing consults, and a curated selection of men’s clothing and accessories.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Anyone who tells you they’ve had a smooth road starting a new business is either lucky or lying! One piece of advice I give to every new entrepreneur is to expect and welcome change. Right now, you are putting your idea together in a vacuum– you think you know how things will run and what customers will want, but until you’re actually up and running and getting feedback, there’s no way to know for sure. Spruce has made many changes since we opened four years ago, including our offerings, pricing, organizational structure, employee compensation, and much more. Before we launched, we anticipated that our clients would value efficiency and speed. As time went by, we came to learn that they actually weren’t in a hurry; they loved the welcoming atmosphere and feeling pampered.

As a woman who has consistently worked in male-dominated fields, the best advice is to know that what you’re bringing to the table is just as valid as what a man is bringing to the table. I have been underestimated, patronized, and ignored. I have had people ask me if I needed to check in with my husband first before making a decision about my own company. I have had clients refuse to sit with a female barber because they didn’t trust their skill level compared to a man’s. Have confidence in your vision, your talent, your experience, and your team, and eventually, the nay-sayers will just become background noise.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
While our concept as a one-stop shop for men is unique, what we have become known for is our high level of customer service. It’s amazing how many barbershops out there don’t greet the people who walk through their doors or seem to go out of their way to make them feel uncool. And there are still quite a few barbershops who refuse to service women or the LGBT+ community. Our goal is radical inclusivity, which involves making our shop a safe space for clients to ask about embarrassing body issues or for recently transitioned men to get advice on how to care for their new facial hair.

And to the best of my knowledge, we are the only shop in town whose proprietary booking and guest experience technology has allowed us to create a separate company to expand and scale that software. Called Sprucebot, our system allows us to anticipate client preferences before they even walk through the door, offer in-store promotional coupons, or receive pertinent client and employee feedback. This has helped us immensely in providing upscale levels of client satisfaction.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
I definitely thank my parents for instilling in me a fantastic work ethic, and my mom in particular for reinforcing the notion that women are as strong, hard-working, and competent as men. They pushed all of their kids to be independent, self-reliant and contributing members to both society and our family. My freshman year of college, I was amazed at how many of my peers didn’t know how to do laundry!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kyle Panis Photography
Noah Berg

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