A cornerstone of the local business community has found a new home to begin the new year. Freshcuts of Pawling opened its new location at 16 West Main Street on January 2, where owner Sean Hilderbrand seeks to continue his tradition of providing quality barbershop service to the area.
Originally located at 23 East Main Street in the Village, Freshcuts opened in 2009. Born and raised in Pawling, Hilderbrand quickly set about establishing the business within the local community. “This is home,” he explains, “and it’s important to have a personal relationship with my customers.” In the eight years that followed, the business continued to thrive, attracting many families and a wide array of regular customers from Pawling and the surrounding area. In addition to providing quality haircutting services, Hilderbrand also understands the significance of the role that a barber plays in the community. “I have customers as young as one month, and as old as 96,” he says. “A lot of families bring their children here exclusively, so I’ve been able to see them grow up. Sometimes I’m the only barber they’ve ever dealt with.”
When the opportunity arose to purchase the storefront at the crest of West Main Street in the village, it allowed Hilderbrand to finally own his own store instead of renting. Formally occupied by a pet grooming shop and a computer repair business, the building required extensive renovations and remodeling. Over the course of eight weeks, the staircase dividing the previous two businesses was removed, as was a deck that adorned the storefront. The building received a complete overhaul with new wiring, plumbing, windows, awnings, exterior lighting, and the installation of an accent wall, granite counters and aged brick walls. Many of the renovations were completed under the direction of Sean’s father, Tim Hilderbrand. The final touch came with the installation of a classic barber pole on the outside of the building.
Almost immediately the support for Freshcuts’ new location began. ”We got great feedback about the renovations,” explains Hilderbrand, “and everyone has been so helpful. I’m especially grateful to Henry Schaber from Family Quick Stop next door, and Mayor Liffland, but everyone around has been great. They really welcomed me to the neighborhood.”
Hilderbrand is a Pawling High School alumnus and graduated from Sacred Heart University with a degree in International Business and Spanish. He began his haircutting career at C&C Unisex Salon in the Poughkeepsie Galleria, and has also had successful forays in real estate, a social club in Danbury, and the retail cell phone industry. In all, he possesses nearly 15 years of experience as a barber.
In addition to the services offered at Freshcuts, Sean Hilderbrand recognizes the value of community involvement. He contributes regularly to various Pawling fundraisers and local organizations such as the Pawling Resource Center and youth sports programs, where he has also been a coach. “Being here, you get to know people, their jobs, and their families,” he says. “You know what’s going on in their lives, and you become a part of that. They support you, and you support them. It’s all community based.”
As 2018 begins, so does a new chapter for Freshcuts of Pawling. The new location will contribute to the continuing revitalization of the village, and the aesthetic improvements will undoubtedly attract new customers. As the proud owner of his own building, Sean Hilderbrand will continue to provide barber services that are a cut above.