Class Notes Profiles
Need a shave?
John Renaud, Arts ’80, went from biotech to barbershop.
Renaud traveled plenty in the early evolution of his business career and always relaxed in the best way possible, by settling into the barber chair for a straight razor, hot towel shave.
Then, the entrepreneur who founded three biotech companies — Immunex, NeXstar and Gilead Sciences — decided it was time to establish a business that didn’t require travel. He chose a franchise of V’s Barbershop, with a focus on bringing the men of San Clemente, Calif., the kind of comfort barbershop treatments Renaud enjoyed. It looks like he anticipated their needs well. V’s Barbershop earned “Best Barbershop” honors from San Clementans for five consecutive years.
V’s offers “old-fashioned guy services,” Renaud says, including haircuts, facials and even shoeshines. Men choose single services or packages ranging from the “Tune up” at $18 to trim stragglers between haircuts to “The Whole Works,” which V’s Barbershop boasts is “the best.” But the straight razor shave that was nearly a forgotten pleasure among modern men really put V’s on the map in San Clemente. It quickly became customers’ top request. “We give more shaves than anybody else in Orange County,” Renaud says.
His shop is modeled after classic barbershops of the 1950s, complete with fully restored barber chairs. “The chairs are works of art themselves,” Renaud says, “worth $3,200 each.” There is a flat-screen television available at each chair. The walls of the award-winning shop are, of course, papered with Green Bay Packers, Marquette and Wisconsin sports memorabilia. — Joni Moths Mueller