Wearing a gentleman’s haircut, white short-sleeved shirt buttoned all the way up, and skinny jeans cuffed on top of black shoes, Reise Malachowsi walks into his shop in downtown Provo, Utah. Malachowsi owns The Man Barber. “I feel like cutting hair is a lot like sculpting”, he said as he puts on his American-made canvas apron, designed to keep the hair off his clothing. Often when people think of “business”, they only think of major corporations that touch the skylines, however, even as a young, 20-year-old, self-made barber, Malachowsi has been able to make quite a name for himself. Through his hard work and expertise for classic cuts, he’s been able to turn a passion and lifestyle into a comfortable wage. Utah Valley is riddled with motivating stories such as his.
Have you heard of Utah Valley’s most satisfying waffle? Not just any waffle, but a waffle you will love…literally known as Waffle Love. Adam Terry, founder of the now booming waffle restaurant, has a story that should motivate anyone.
Just six weeks before Waffle Love’s grand opening, Terry found himself jobless and disheartened. Despite his efforts, it seemed nearly impossible to get the employment necessary to support his family of five. He had always experimented with the idea of owning his own restaurant and decided he had nothing to lose. His wife Melissa Terry spoke of the journey in her own words, “He turned an old insurance office into a kitchen, and a $1,300 vintage step van into a food truck. With the help of our families, we painted, and plumbed and perfected recipes and set a date to open to the public.” She went onto describe how after all their hard work, they were still nervous how they would be received. Luckily, people ended up coming in masses! Waffle Love now has six food trucks and four permanent locations. Not bad for four years and a little dreaming.
Just a few feet off Center Street Provo near the new Temple construction there lays the ultimately classy shop, Perfectly Suited by Garth. Garth Peay grew up in Provo, Utah before pursuing his dream of dancing on the big stage. He left for Hollywood as a young man, with nothing more than passion and motivation in his pockets. Now decades later, after dancing across Hollywood and Broadway with names like Dick Van Dyke, owning Center Stage Utah, one of the biggest dance academies in the west, and traveling much of the world, Peay has returned to his roots to provide his community with essential suiting. Peay had noticed that it was quite difficult to get high-quality men's wear in The Valley and decided to create the solution. Now he offers a wide variety of beautiful clothing from custom suiting and shirts to unique accessories and shoes. “Why retire?” he asked me, during our conversation last time I was in the shop. From personal experience I can truly say that Peay is a joy to work with.
It amazes me to be able to witness the growth of a business; to watch someone in the genuine pursuit of a fulfilling life. I wanted to write this blog post and highlight the three businesses above to help you better understand that there are real, genuine people behind many businesses. Not all business owners are good people of course, but I've found that most are sincere. Choosing to buy local can help some of these people in their pursuits.