by Savannah Vasquez
Ever heard the term “woolly booger”? It’s an old Southern term meaning hairy man — specifically an unkempt hairy man.
But if you walk into the new Fort Walton Beach business by the same name, you will be met by a slew of very well-kept gentlemen and ladies. The Woolly Booger at Uptown Station is an old-fashioned men’s haberdashery that offers haircuts, massages, facials, nail services, organic toiletries, fashion accessories and shaving hardware.
“Men like to be pampered as well,” said Kevin Marler, who co-owns the store with his friend Shannon Ikner. “We thought, ‘Let’s create a retail shop where men can get pampered and make it comfortable for guys.’ You can walk in here and feel like you are hanging out in your cabin.”
The inside of Woolly Booger simultaneously resembles a general store in the 1920s and a hunting lodge deep in the woods. A vintage barber’s chair sits in the lobby among beard elixirs and balms as a stuffed buffalo head looks out over the metal cash register. The next room sports plaid walls, a wood-scene mural and a flat-screen TV with two massage chairs ready for manicures and pedicures. The third and final room is dimly lit with one massage table in the center set up for massages and facials.
“I’ve had this concept for years, probably a decade,” Marler said. “I wanted to create an environment where men will come to think of themselves and also get services for themselves.”
Marler said he and his wife have made their own care products for years, and now finally have a place to share their products and services with others. The Woolly Booger carries their house-brand items in three scents; Gaelic tweed, tobacco and barber shop, and they carry other brands with more scents popular for men.
“I have bad skin from shaving, so my wife and I started experimenting with making our own products,” Marler said. “Now I make beard oil at home as well as other shaving products, soaps and face scrubs — everything we have in here we have it geared to guys.”
But the Woolly Booger is much more than a place for men with beards. Marler said he wants to cater to military men and even women shopping for the guys in their lives.
“We are a women’s gift shop disguised as a men’s retail store,” Marler joked. “We have women coming in here all the time saying, ‘Oh my husband would love this.’ ”
With the slogan “be uncommon,” The Woolly Booger encourages men to indulge in pampering.
“We are entering a new age for men,” Marler said. “Beards are no longer seen as a sign that a man is lazy; now they are seen as an accent to a guy — something we have to take care of. So we here at Woolly Booger are just wanting to supply an option for those men who want to take care of their beards and look better and feel better.”
For more information, visit www.woollyboogerbrand.com or call 850-226-6332.