When Jim Valenzuela opened the doors to his first Vs Barbershop in the upper-crust Phoenix neighborhood of Arcadia in 1998, he was scared to death.

I didnt know if it would last a month or 25 years, he said.

Valenzuela wanted a place to take his son, like the kind of barbershops his dad had gone to growing up in Tucson.

So, we did haircuts, shaves and shoe shines and it worked, he said.

Fast-forward to 2024 and Valenzuelas barbershop concept has turned into a nationwide brand, with 60 stores in 20 states across the country, and 10 more locations on the way.

Besides a winning concept, Valenzuela attributes the growth of his business to one particularly well-known Arizona businessman, who helped get him into the franchise business.

A guy by the name of Doug Ducey, who was running Cold Stone Creamery, approached me about doing a joint venture, Valenzuela said. He just loved us.

Valenzuela also believes his Tucson roots played a role.

I had a wonderful childhood here, Valenzuela said. My dad was the guy on T.V. that owned Gordos (Mexicateria).

It was Valenzuelas dad, Al Valenzuela, who shaped Jim into the businessman he is today.

My dad was a tough guy, but I wouldnt have done this without him, Jim Valenzuela said. I wouldnt have had the confidence, I wouldnt have had the breadth of education, and I wouldnt have been as deep thinking as I am now without my dads influence.

Valenzuela aims to make customers comfortable when they walk into Vs.

The business owner claims to have the largest collection of antique barber chairs in the world.

The images on the walls of each of his shops showcase an array of sports, from baseball to football, including a shot of a young Muhammad Ali.

I wanted the iconic photos to be able to foster conversation, so that fathers and songs could enjoy the experience, Valenzuela said. We just wanted to transport people to a different environment for a half-hour at a time. I love this.

Its the inviting environment that attracted franchise owner Nate Lipton to the business.

It was a place made for guys, and guys these days do not have a lot of opportunities for self-care, Lipton said.

If we know your name walking in, and we make your kid feel good, and give them a lollipop, were doing something right, Valenzuela said.