Meet the Callowhill Barbershop Giving Cropped Cuts and Donating to Local Nonprofits

At Alex Brenard's Winsome, there's more than just chic grooming. Clients also come for fresh flowers, art and music shows and a book club.

Winsome is a barbershop located in Callowhill. / Photography by Courtney Apple

Before Winsome

I worked in advertising sales, and it wasn’t fulfilling. About a decade ago, I got laid off and said, “This is it for me.” I wanted to open a business and do something with my hands, and I’ve always had a fascination with barbers and barbershops, so I invested my severance package in barber school. I spent years working in various barbershops, moved to Philly to run Blind Barber — Bryce Harper’s salon and bar — and opened Winsome in September 2022.

What we do

We are experts at giving short haircuts, and our shop is open and welcoming to everybody, not just men. A lot of my clients are female, and we service the LGBTQ+ community. Here, anybody can come get a break from the outside world and feel like they’re being taken care of.


Plant-made pomade at Winsome

Beyond hair

We also host art shows, pop-up music performances, and a book club. We’re creating a space where people can be around others who are somewhat strangers but who share a common interest, whether it’s books or art or music.

Giving back

The fund-raising aspect of Winsome is called Selfless Care. Two percent of every service goes to a local — hyperlocal, if possible — nonprofit. The first one, which runs the first six months of this year, is benefiting the Rail Park.

Winsome owner Alex Brenard

The vibe

I don’t really jibe with the whole idea of the masculine barbershop. We’re putting up plants instead of pictures of razor blades and tattoos. My partner, Melissa, is a florist by trade, and she makes fresh flower bouquets that are for sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s maybe not the typical version of a traditional barbershop, but I wanted to create a place that is more than just a barbershop. I want this to be a calm place to gather.

Winsome is located at 448 North 10th Street, suite 100 in Callowhill.

Published as “A Cut Above” in the June 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.