BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo barber Oral Roberts has always had a flair for hair.

“I get a chance to build a relationship with people when they come in," said Roberts. "I get a chance to meet these people and spend time with them.”

A master barber for six years and owner of Cove & Mill Barbering Co. for three, he says it was a struggle finding workers to fill his shop. Paying a monthly booth rental price was a tall order for those struggling after shops were closed during the pandemic, but he found a solution thanks to an app from two Texas transplants.

“We found that stylists weren’t trying to book our space long term, so we wanted to give opportunities where they were missed,” said Dr. Tye Caldwell, Shearshare founder.

Caldwell and his wife Courtney created Shearshare, an app where stylists can rent space in salons by the day, coming in only when they have appointments and saving money for both parties.

“We like to tell people to think of us as hair B&B," said Courtney.

The Caldwells came up with the idea as a means to supplement income in their salon after a stylist suggested a short stay. After finding success in markets like Texas and Florida, they entered Buffalo’s 43 North Start-up Competition and won a $500,000 investment.

They moved to Buffalo intending to take the hair industry into the 21st century and now they’re helping licensed cosmetologists, barbers, nail techs and estheticians in roughly 900 cities in the U.S. continue to stay in business with a tech twist.

"Access to entrepreneurship for all actually benefits us all," said Courtney. "And so however we can play a part in that for the second-largest industry for freelancers and independent contractors, we will love to support other businesses doing that because we see that as the future.”

That support is something Oral says he’s been waiting for in the industry as a means to make being a business owner in Buffalo an economical option.

“I wish I knew about this a long time ago, I would've done it sooner so don’t wait,” said Roberts.

Licensed cosmetologists and barbers who are interested in learning more can download Shearshare in Apple's app store or in the Google Play store.