Owner Daniel Hudon probably couldn't fathom being a part of a reality television series when he started up Chop Shop 4 years ago but it was always a part of his plan to bring people together. "We've been packed since day one—it's just a great place for the average person to go and feel comfortable."
Hudon had been working in the salon industry in Vancouver for years, from the city's trendy Yaletown to the shopping district on Robson Street although he wanted to create a space that was different. "I was tired of working in other shops...there was high end, low end, and nothing in the middle."
With a modest goal in mind, it's not too surprising that when someone from the network strolled down the street past his shop and offered him a show, at first he declined. "There was some reluctance within the staff, we're not mainstream TV people." He gave the series-creators a shot and they produced a quick film for the staff, "it was awesome and we all jumped on board."
Luckily they did because the Chop Shop hosts 13 stylists who share their work days, personal lives, and professional aspirations, while doing something they're all extremely passionate about.
"We're not trying to reinvent styles and we're not saying we're better than anyone else," noted Hudon about the edgy, hot rod lifestyle of the 'Choppers'. "But, we're definitely the friendliest. We want people to feel comfortable and build relationships."
The reality series filmed for several months on Granville Street, in the heart of Vancouver's entertainment district. You can stop by the now-famous shop if you're looking for a hair cut or style in a laid back atmosphere or as Hudon recommends, if you simply need "a great place to just come chill out."
Chop Shop airs February 4th at 8:00pm ET, 9:00pm PT on Slice.
GUEST BLOGGER: Rebecca Bollwitt has been blogging about Vancouver since 2004 on Miss604.com, co-hosting two podcasts since 2005 and in 2008 she co-founded sixty4media, a social media consulting firm.