As the world struggles to maintain (and create) normalcy, and with millions of Americans out of work, we believe that supporting small businesses is a great way to take action and make a big impact. Every Saturday, WDID features a company that we love in the Small Business Spotlight series. This week, we have the privilege of featuring Brooklyn, NY's inclusive barber studio "Baddies".
"An Inclusive Barbershop"
Interview with Owner Alana Lucia
What is BADDIES?
Baddies is an inclusive barbershop that caters to the needs of queer individuals. We do our best to provide a space where the lgbtq+ community feel comfortable and seen in a setting that historically has made them feel otherwise.
What is the Baddies story?
Baddies opened in January 2018 inside of the Pencil Factory building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It began as a one chair shop where I brought my clientele over from a previous barbershop. I worked there by myself for a year before I brought on my apprentice, Cait Dabbs. In December 2019, I expanded to the first floor of the Pencil Factory where I opened a six chair shop. The space and vibe of the shop is everything I always dreamed about. I brought on one of my closest friends Adriana Papaleo, who is an incredible stylist. She runs her own business out of the Baddies location. I also started to train another dear friend of mine, L. We are a team of four queer-identifying people, which feels really powerful and special.
Photos by Lauren Perlstein - @laurenperlstein
How has Covid impacted your business?
I closed Baddies temporarily a week before the government told us we were required to. I felt like I had a responsibility to protect everyone that could potentially be exposed inside of the shop. It was incredibly jolting and heartbreaking to have to put everything to a halt two and a half months after opening. I felt like we were riding high and then it came crashing down. I know other small businesses are suffering greatly and even completely closing, which I am sick over. I am so grateful to say I am working with my landlord to make sure we can keep moving forward.
What is the best way for people to help your business during Covid Closures?
The best way for people to help our business during Covid is to purchase gift cards. If you go to www.baddiesnyc.com, then click 'book appointment,' at the bottom of each of our booking pages you will find our gift card links. Also, when we get the go-ahead to open, book your appointment and come in asap! We will be so thrilled to see our books nice and full for when we come back. In the meantime, following us on Instagram and sharing things you like is always a great way to help.
*Action Step*: If you're in the greater NYC area, or know someone in need of a great barber, buy a gift card today. If you're not in need of a gift card but still want to help, follow Baddies and engage on social media!
Where can we find Baddies?:
Alana Lucia - Owner of Baddies
My name is Alana Lucia. I am a queer Italian-American from Amityville, New York. My late best friend forced me to cut her hair when we were 17 in her bedroom, and I have been cutting hair since. I got my start in high-end salons in NYC. I always knew I wanted to work with short hair and in a barbershop setting, but I didn't think there was a place for me in the barbering community. Eventually, I took a leap and got a job at Blind Barber. It was there that I realized I had the honor of helping fellow queers to look and feel their best. My dream was to open my own shop, and this realization made that dream feel purposeful and whole.
Photos by Lauren Perlstein - @laurenperlstein
In the search for small businesses to feature in this space, WDID reached out to some supporters of the show, their friends, friends of friends, and so on. Right away, Baddies was recommended by three different people. Alana's work and the space she has created is clearly valuable beyond a traditionally transactional "haircut". The recent steps she took to expand her business are daring and important. With so many folx sharing such effusive love for what Baddies does, I made my gift card purchase this week without hesitation and cannot wait to sit in Alana's chair when doors reopen. - David Kimple
What Do I Do? is a podcast about current events for folx who want to get involved. The goal of “What Do I Do?” is to use levity and brevity to identify approachable ways for folx to take action during a time where the world’s issues are very overwhelming. We talk about one thing happening in the world (social issues, politics, current events) and finish by identifying specific action steps a person can use to get involved whether they are physical, financial, emotional, or other.
"What Do I Do?" can be found at: