New CA Men’s Fine Grooming owner Felicia DeSpain prepares to rebrand the Waterfront business

WICHITA — Six tumultuous years after opening CA Men’s Fine Grooming at the Waterfront, Erik Leschuk has sold the business.

New owner Felicia DeSpain was hoping to wait to discuss the purchase until she renames and rebrands the business, but it’s taking longer than she thought it would.

“There’s a lot of initial things that have to be done immediately,” she says of her new business.

DeSpain is a licensed aesthetician who has been in the skin-care business for eight years. She likes the concept of a spa that caters solely to men.

“I kind of look at it as a barber spa,” she says. “It’s the old barber shop coming together with spa services. There’s nothing girly about it at all.”

DeSpain plans several changes, including marketing more to women.

“I can see us being a partner,” she says of helping women help the men in their lives look and feel better.

“As women we want our guys to look great all the time, too,” DeSpain says.

Members and nonmembers can receive services such as hair cuts, massages and pedicures, which DeSpain refers to as detailing.

“They literally are detailing themselves like they would with a car.”

She’s also adding services, such as chemical peels, and new types of massages, such as deep-tissue massages.

“I look at it as basically health maintenance and stress management,” DeSpain says.

She’s not expanding services to women.

“I think that the guys appreciate the way that it is now.”

Nor did she buy the CA store in Leawood.

“It was important for me to focus on Wichita,” DeSpain says.

Leschuk is still managing partner of the Leawood store, which a group of investors is now looking at selling.

Leschuk and former business partner Craig Tatro opened what was then Craig Allen’s Men’s Fine Grooming about this time in 2004.

The following spring, New York-based John Allan Co. men’s grooming store filed a federal lawsuit against Craig Allen Co. alleging trademark infringement and confusion over the name, logo and store atmosphere, among other things.

Leschuk and Tatro began working on their second store in 2007. It opened in 2009, but by then Tatro was gone from the company after legal troubles related to his unlawful use of a financial card.

“It was definitely a challenging business, no question about that,” Leschuk says of his time with the Wichita store. “Not only externally, but internally.”

He’s now pursuing other business interests, which he says he’d rather not discuss.

“It was definitely an interesting ride,” Leschuk says. “I’m glad to move on and start a new chapter.”