Eight years ago, Mark Fernicola decided he was ready for a career change. He decided to become a barber and this year Ferni’s Barbershop was nominated to the New Haven Register’s “Best Of.”
“Ferni” is a nickname given by a teacher flustered by three Marks in one class. The name has stuck, plus, he jokes that “Fernicola” wouldn’t fit on the barbershop window.
Fernicola’s uncle and cousins are both barbers. “I was at a crossroads, career-wise, and I just woke up one day and decided to be a barber,” he says. Following his uncle’s advice, he trained at a cosmetology school in Wallingford and graduated in 2014. He worked for his uncle, moved to a salon and barbershop in Guilford, followed by North Branford before settling in Woodbridge in 2018. He’s been in the Lucky Soul Tattoo shop ever since.
The waiting area is attractive and comfortable – warm wood, leather chesterfield sofas, plants and artwork – and the barber chair is full of Fernicola’s personality with a painted skateboard hung as art and memorabilia on the walls.
“A lot of my clients are not tattooed – they just want a haircut,” says Fernicola. He does haircuts, buzzcuts, straight razor shaves and offers beard and mustache trims. He also sells Tip Top pomade from a California vendor he admires and Connecticut-based Fifth of Combs facial hair products.
“I’m still seeing some people come in who haven’t had a haircut in a year. A few others shaved their own head and they’re coming to me for a fixer upper job,” he chuckled.
During the pandemic customers are required to make an appointment. No walk-ins are accepted.
Ferni’s Barbershop is at 214 Amity Road and is open Tuesday – Friday 10-6 and Saturday 9-4, 203-397-5825, https://www.fernisbarbershop.com/.