Biz Buzz: Barbershop opens in Dubuque; fitness studio with new owner; recording studio marks 1 year

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque.

A longtime barber has opened up a new barbershop in downtown Dubuque.

Derrick Clark, who has been cutting hair for 22 years, runs Tight Fade Barbershop, 1398 White St., near the Dubuque Food Pantry. The barbershop opened in September.

“The community has just been showing a lot of love,” Clark said. “They have been reaching out, saying that they’re grateful to have an actual barbershop in town and don’t have to travel as far. I’ve got some people that were going to Chicago for haircuts.”

Clark said he began looking for work as a barber three years ago when he moved to Dubuque.

“When I came out here, the first thing I noticed was that there weren’t any Black barbershops established in the area,” he said. “It was hard to find work. So I cut hair in my apartment for three years. There was a lot of clientele coming in and out of my apartment.”

Once he heard about the White Street location, Clark decided to open up the barbershop. He described the business as a multicultural barbershop and said he specializes in all types of hair. Two other barbers also work at the business along with Clark.

Clark also stressed that the shop is family-friendly.

Clark said he also has worked on giving back to the community, giving out 100 meals at Thanksgiving. He said has loved getting to hear stories from clients.

“My favorite part about the business is giving people the confidence to do what they need to do, like an interview or a graduation or a party,” he said. “Sometimes people need a little extra confidence, and I enjoy doing that. It’s almost like giving them a part of their outfit.”

Tight Fade Barbershop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for both appointments and walk-ins. The business can be reached at 678-748-9763.

New owner takes over Dubuque fitness studio

The Dubuque location of a fitness studio has a new owner.

Ann Gile became the new owner of Jazzercise, 2095 Kerper Blvd., on Jan. 1. She took over ownership from Natalie Nieman and Shelly Rehfeldt, who will remain Jazzercise instructors.

“I’ve loved my whole path so far,” Gile said. “I loved being a member. I love being an instructor, and now I am going to love being an owner.”

She said Jazzercise has been in Dubuque for 30 years with a series of locations and owners. She had been a member for several years before becoming a certified instructor in October 2020. Gile still teaches three or four classes a week.

Jazzercise classes draw a wide variety of people, Gile said, including both men and women and people of varying ages.

“Most come here by themselves, and then they make friends here,” she said. “I think that’s what sets us apart. It’s a real community here. … I teach at different times, and every time I’m done, I think, ‘This is my favorite group of people.’ I think that after every class.”

Looking ahead, Gile said she hopes to reach out to businesses and other organizations in the community to show them what Jazzercise can offer.

“Working out can be fun,” she said. “It doesn’t have to involve a treadmill. You can dance and have fun doing it.”

Dubuque’s Jazzercise location has classes daily, and a class schedule can be found at The studio can be reached at 563-542-3602 or via email at

Audio engineer offers chance to be creative

A Dubuque audio engineer has been giving people the chance to get creative via his business over the past year.

Deshawn Brown is the owner of The Glasshouse, a recording studio at 1533 Central Ave., the previous site of Central All-Purpose Apparels. At the end of this month, The Glasshouse will mark its one-year anniversary at the brick-and-mortar location, where individuals can record music, podcasts, voiceovers and more.

“Realistically, tons of people come and don’t know where to start and don’t know how to go about doing it,” Brown said of making recordings. “Taking their vision and making it come true, that’s a reward like nothing else.”

Brown’s interest in audio engineering was sparked as a college student in Chicago, where he originally majored in business management.

“I literally was walking past the creative arts room, and they were messing with the mixer and everything,” Brown said. “Right then and there, I knew I wanted to change my major.”

After graduating in 2014, Brown moved to Dubuque in 2016 and began recording his own music in his basement. After he garnered more clients through word of mouth, he decided to open the studio space.

Brown said the past year of business has gone well, listing the opportunity last summer to work with youth from Multicultural Family Center on recording music as a highlight. He also said he loves being able to help people work through their ideas before turning them into a recording. His business recently was highlighted on Dubuque Main Street’s Facebook page.

“I feel like (The Glasshouse) is opening up an avenue for people to be creative, so they don’t have to travel two or three hours away to go to the studio,” he said. “If you want a podcast, I’ve got a room for you. It’s been a great journey.”

More information on The Glasshouse can be found on Facebook. The business also can be contacted via email at