After witnessing men doing the "Walk of Shame" at her favorite spa and realizing that barbering was a dying artform, Ms. Laura Mercedez seized the opportunity to reinvent the art of men's grooming experiences, and came up with the concept of Gentlemens Republic Barbersalon, becoming the experts in men's grooming.
It all began in 2010
GENTLEMEN'S REPUBLIC COMES TO LIFE
In 2010 after witnessing a man do " The Walk Of Shame" at a woman's salon, Ms. Mercedez took on the challenge to resurrect the concept of barbering and reinvent the way men took care of themselves. She purchased a beautiful historic 100-year-old home located at 1709 Montana, having her own construction firm, she completely renovated it with built in granite stations, a men's spa, hung crystal chandeliers, and a vintage bar to help men relax as they got a haircut and a nice hot lather shave.
This was truly a first in the nation. The only problem was that since barbering was a dying artform and barbers were dying off, where do you find barbers? Luckily, she found a true master, in the unemployment office no less. His name, Wilbert Hendricks.
This 20-year master barber had just retired from the military, and was excited to come aboard, but he just could not understand why she wanted barbers to use scissors, especially since barbers used clippers? It took a while to realize that Ms. Mercedez was onto something great. She even created the beard/shave oil used to this very day- The Bearded Kings Beard/Shave Oil By Gents Republic.
New Historic Location
GENTLEMEN'S REPUBLIC OUTGROWS ITS LOCATION
The Historical Lawson Building, located at 1712 N. Mesa became the new iconic home of Gentlemens Republic. Built in 1913-1914 by Henry Trost for Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Milton Lawson, Mr. Trost built about 220 buildings in El Paso and this was one of his favorites as it was built with the backdrop of the mountains behind it. The El Paso Times newspaper quoted in 1933-:
“Mr. Trost was one, who let himself be known for his works, rather than by his words, and one who made a valid and long lasting contribution to this great region. His was a life of great purpose and achievement and his leaves the southwest richer for his having lived and worked in it”
The home construction consists of being a 2 story building with simple lines, masterful proportions, a plastered exterior and most interestingly was constructed with concrete casted molds. It has wide projecting stone cornices, wooden carved overhangs, and the special handsome concrete coping, including the two front large concrete casted windows with an arched front opening to showcase the grandeur of the stunning home, with a gorgeous view of downtown El Paso.
Mr. Lawson was born in 1879 in Washington DC, a civil engineer by trade, and was only 34 years old when he moved his family to El Paso to dedicate himself to his life work, his concern was our most precious resource- water. He was appointed by President Coolidge in 1927-1954 as the American Commissioner of the International Boundary & Water Commission. One of his most distinguished and proudest negotiations was the 1944 Water Treaty between The United States & Mexico.
Mr. Lawson was a noted engineer, and absolutely loved El Paso and was a very generous philanthropist throughout the southwest region. His daughter Laura Lawson was even crowned Ms. Chihuahua. He passed away quietly at the age of 84, in 1963 in his own home. The house was then sold and became home to the Kerr Family Law Firm in the 60’s-70’s. It was sold to Sonny Corral, who turned the house into the famed and famous Hair Odyssey Hair Salon in 1977. It was the go-to hair place for the Who’s Who of El Paso from 1977-2008.
Sadly Mr. Corral passed away at the age of 74 from a prolonged battle with cancer. It was then sold once again and turned into Salon 1712 from 2008-2013. Ms. Mercedez then seized the opportunity in 2014 and being a general contractor herself, she took immense pleasure in personally bringing the historical home back to its original glory by putting in some work herself from sanding the floors, landscaping, painting, and decorating it to highlight its great architectural bones. From its inception Gentlemens Republic has set the bar of excellence extremely high and even though many have tried to imitate it, no one can duplicate the iconic home of the EXPERTS IN MEN'S GROOMING.
To celebrate its 10-Year anniversary, in 2021 a men's gift shop was set up to carry facial, beard, hair, Body Products, T-shirt's, Men's Accessories including Gents Republic personal line of Bowties & Handkerchiefs. Also look for our One-Of-A-Kind men's gifts for that special man who has everything.
We hope that you enjoyed our website and your experience here. Thank you for supporting a small woman owned business. See you soon!