“I’ve been in the business for a while. I’ve seen guys grow from kids to young men, and it’s kind of satisfying to know that maybe I helped out a little; developing or molding their character, so to speak. I like watching them succeed with different goals and things that I heard them talk about when they were seven or eight. Now they’re 20 or 25 and they’re reaping the benefits of some of those goals I heard them speak of when they were little kids.
“When I first started, I thought it was all about the haircut. And I quickly learned there’s a lot more to it than that. [Barbering] is a passion, to me. A craft. It’s a way to feed my family and make an honest living, but it’s also a gateway to developing relationships. I‘d say that’s probably one of the biggest aspects of my work. I come in contact with people and develop relationships that are lifelong.
“The therapeutic aspect of it, that’s a big deal. I think a lot of my clients have conversations with me they wouldn’t have with anybody else. Clients trust their barbers. I enjoy being a listening ear. Providing learnable or teachable moments, especially to the younger people.
“Some guys don’t even feel comfortable with doing certain things before they get a haircut. It could be nightlife, a date, special events… Barbers see their clients through every detail when it comes to wanting to make themselves look better and feel better.
“When [a barber] gives a client pretty much exactly what they want or pretty close to it, that changes the game for that client. That client may have walked in feeling like, ‘I’m coming up short,’ but when they get that haircut- that tight and crisp lining- they go from Clark Kent to Superman.
“I’m the phone booth, first and foremost, because coming into my shop creates their transformation. The hands that rip the suit off would be the confidence my cut instills in the person I provided it for. It’s a game changer.”