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Northfield Center -- Dmitri Sumbry has been a professional barber since 1995, but his experience goes back further, to high school and the Persian Gulf War.
Sumbry has brought that experience to the township, where he and his wife Denise live, opening Dmitri's Barber Shop at 9377 Olde Eight Road on the corner of Leonard Avenue Feb. 6.
Sumbry said that although the shop offers "close" hair cuts and eyebrow trims for women, men are the primary clientele, with services including haircuts, shaves and beard trims.
"We're here basically to cater to the male population," he said.
The shop currently has three barbers, including himself, with four chairs and plans to hire a fourth barber.
Sumbry got his first taste of what would be his career as a student at Collinwood High School in 1984, cutting the hair of student athletes in the locker room.
"I just picked up some clippers and started cutting hair," he said.
While in the Army in the early 1990s, he was in a supply company, first in Saudi Arabia, then in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. Other soldiers in his unit discovered he had experience and wanted to make him the unit's unofficial barber.
"They found some clippers and said I needed to cut their hair," said Sumbry, adding that he made some extra money doing it, charging $5 a haircut.
"When I came home, I said I was going to barber college," said Sumbry, who graduated from Allstate Hairstyling and Barber College and was licensed by the Ohio State Barber College in 1995.
Prior to opening his township shop, he had been a partner in a shop in Cleveland Heights for two years, then sold his share to his business partner, but continued leasing a chair in the shop for another six years.
Dmitri's Barber Shop operates mainly as a walk-in business.
"We have the flexibility to handle appointments, but everybody's welcome," said Sumbry.
The shop is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"I appreciate all the love and acceptance I've gotten from the community," said Sumbry.