It all started with a few bad haircuts at the hands of his loving mother, and a decision to see if he could get a job at the local barbershop sweeping up. The job worked out just fine and then-11-year-old Patrick Bidinost was able to get the barber to throw in few free haircuts as part of the deal.
Since then he has constantly been on the go in a labor of love that has led to Bidinost having his own shop for nearly 14 years. The last seven of those have been spent at 1732 Union St., a location putting Patrick's right along the boundary between Niskayuna and Schenectady.
I started out with a small shop and a couple hundred dollars in my pocket, said Bidinost. "The business has been building ever since. It has grown so much that seven years ago I moved to this location so I could get some more space and better serve our customers.
"I grew up in Rotterdam so I've been in this area my whole life, and I know the people," he said. "This is something I have always wanted to do and we've really come a long way from when it started. I'm even a master barber so I have been able to help 11 other guys become barbers and some of them have set up their own shops as well."
Along with cutting hair, Bidinost believes in innovation, and he's put years of hands-on experience to work in developing his own line of hair-care products. Going under the label Patrick: Grooming Products for Today's Man, the line includes gels, a shampoo with conditioner and finishing spray.
"My new line of hair-care products was made for real people, using feedback from real customers in a real salon setting," he said. "I've made changes in the products after listening to what my clients have to say and how they react to the gels and shampoo.