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Manifest, Building Community Through Grooming and Style

In the era of immersive experiences, where nearly everything is Instagrammable, entrepreneur and adjunct professor KJ Hughes had a concept in mind that would bridge the gap between luxury, wellness, and your typical barbershop experience. Hughes’ idea lead to the creation of Manifest.

The Washington D.C. location is a one-stop, first-of-its-kind culture hub where “everything great starts with a haircut” but extends well beyond just grooming. The entrepreneur’s new contemporary spin on self-care offers a holistic environment encouraging its patrons to unapologetically indulge in the "soft life" for a change.

Brian Merritt

Along with partners Brian Merritt and Susan Morgan, and designed by visionary design firm, Snarkitecture, the thoughtfully curated, first-of-its-kind space repurpose an array of essentials into a modern self-care moment. Within Manifest, guests will enjoy expert grooming services at the next-gen barbershop, an intimate artisanal coffee shop, cutting-edge retail with international brands and products, a 30-seat destination featuring highly curated cocktails, and a well-appointed bookable residence opening later in the Spring for those seeking an immersive experience with unparalleled Capitol views through the retractable glass roof door.

“I’ve traveled all over the world and immersed myself in so many cultures and it’s my dream for Manifest to exist to cater to connections and foster the shared experiences that keep us all thriving,” Hughes said in a statement. “It’s ambitious, but we want to be the catalyst for clients achieving their best selves. Self-care begins with grooming, but it certainly does not end there.”

Merritt is excited about what Manifest represents. “It is a place for men to have great conversation,” he says. Although their company is all-encompassing, Manifest primarily focuses on stylishly enhancing the community of men. He says that through traveling he and Hughes noticed it was not a space in our community that offers the services that Manifest does. “We wanted not only a space that you can get groomed or to shop at, but to also discover new things,” Merritt explains.

Although Manifest is membership-based, walk-ins are accepted. For $89 a month, the entrepreneurs developed their latest venture keeping the value of time in mind. From discounted haircuts, to free clean-up services within 10 days of your haircut, Merritt has put in place benefits that he would have liked when he visited his barbers.

The power of ownership can be found throughout the Manifest hub. The partners also developed their apothecary line. Of Us carries everything from candles to face toners to face creams, all contributing to the overall experience of Manifest. “We wanted to offer our customers items that we use on them during their services,” Merritt says. “We use the toners, the beard wash, the shampoo.” And it is a great marketing strategy for the company. “Oftentimes you get a service done and you ask the person what they're using and he's directing them over to our apothecary line.”

With a 20-plus friendship among the partners, Manifest is looking to expand soon. As of now, D.C was the perfect spot to create this space. “I think D.C was the perfect market that needed Manifest,” Merritt says. He also acknowledges other markets such as Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, all have opportunities for the company.

As of now, consumers are enjoying the newly minted location and the bonus of a small speakeasy with great cocktails, all while making new connections and building a sense of community through grooming and style.

Photo Credit: Manifest

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