By Liam Oakes,
Stillman News Writer
On October 3, students from the Seton Hall Entrepreneurship Club met with a local barber shop owner from South Orange in the Entrepreneurship Center.
Rayon Mclean, who founded the Steel Mclean product line and barber shop, started his career in the salon industry when he opened his own barber shop in 1996, called Cutz New York.
He worked in interior design for eight years prior to becoming an entrepreneur.
“After I stopped working in interior design, I wanted to go and follow a passion of mine—which was cutting hair,” said Mclean.
“So then I just decided to move forward and do what makes me happy.”
When moving the barber shop to New Jersey, Mclean first ran business in Bloomfield a year before moving to Morristown, where he struggled to keep his doors open.
“The problem was that (the towns) weren’t diverse enough for me,” Mclean said.
“When I did my diversity research, I saw that South Orange was very diverse and had a college located nearby. I felt that I would be able to offer the service that I want to offer.”
Mclean then moved his barber shop to South Orange in 2010.
He also started to initiate his own product line.
After barbering for years and using different products in his clients’ hair, Mclean teamed up with chemists to produce his own brand of haircare products after customers explained that they did not use certain products because of the chemicals in them.
According to Mclean, it took three years in the making before he could launch his own products.
Research, development, and testing is still being conducted to improve and launch new natural hair products.
In October 2016, SteelMclean released its first six products on the shelf, which can only be purchased at the barber shop or online, ranging from shampoos and conditioners to texture and gel creams.
With near five-star reviews online and on their Facebook page, SteelMclean has been very well-supported by the South Orange community, according to Mclean.
In fact, because the barber shop has become extremely busy, barbers do not arrange appointments with customers.
“We only do walk-ins because that is the best way to accommodate all of our customers. If we were to work based off of appointments, then it would have to cut into my time as a barber to making sure that my current client has a quality haircut. We are about quality here, not quantity,” explained Mclean.
Mclean also noted that Wednesdays were the least occupied and that Seton Hall students will receive a discount if they get their haircut on that day.
Customers can receive a free haircut if they are referred by three other people who get a haircut at the shop.
SteelMclean and its products can be found on their website, steelmclean.com, or on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.
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