In the many years since we started Bump Stopper we talked to lots of people.
We asked for feedback, we talked about results, packaging design, formulations, you name it!
One group has been, and still is, of great importance to us: The barbers.
Today we are happy to start this new section on our blog called "Barbers" where we ask more questions to barbers.
Craig The Barber is our first guest, and we are honored with his collaboration.
He'll be very happy to read your comments, so leave them in the comments section.
Craig The Barber.
Craig the Barber is a renowned expert on all areas related to men's grooming and style. He is the owner and editor-in-chief of TheMensRoom.com and grooming line Burke Avenue, consultant to several global men's grooming brands, a contributor to two national men's magazines and a licensed barber & cosmetologist, responsible for the grooming of many of Hollywood's elite.
Why, how you started being a barber?
One word. VANITY.
When turned 14yrs old, I began valuing my personal style a bit higher than my parents wanted to afford. To further clarify, I believed that getting a fresh haircut every week was a perfectly reasonable lifestyle choice as a freshman in high school. Clearly,my parents didn’t quite see things that way! So, my father bought a pair of clippers for me and suggested I learn how to cut my own hair to make both parties happy. Never known to back down from a challenge, I planned visits to barbershops to study the haircutting techniques of those barbers. And when I became confident enough, I tried what I learned on my hair.
I failed miserably at my first self-haircut attempt and it left me with a bald patch on the side of his head. But, it grew back and that experience didn’t stop me. I kept trying and got better and soon not only excelled at cutting my own hair but also became the go-to “barber” for most of his friends, a role that continued through my college days. After college I spent some time in the corporate world but after several years decided to step out and pursue barbering full-time. With the loving support of my wife and over 10yrs of working professionally, I haven’t looked back since!
What is the biggest challenge you faced in your career as a barber?
Mastering all hair types.
One of my beauty school teachers stated in class “that all money is green when it came to the beauty industry.” She told us to never short change the opportunity to stay busy behind the chair,!due to the inability to service all hair types. This statement stuck with me and I never forgot it. I was determined to cut all hair types well, and am proud to say that I have accomplished this goal while also continuing to learn more.
What was your first achievement, or your first satisfaction?
Gaining my first repeat customer. It was a great feeling and still is! These men become not only loyal customers, but friends as well. As the numbers grow, it feels like one big family.
Every barber has a piece of equipment they could not live without. What is yours?
My barber shears. There isn’t a haircut complete in my book without my shears participating in the overall look.
Being in Hollywood, Ca, you may have been in contact with many celebrities. Do you have a celebrity barber-crush?
You are correct. The opportunities to meet celebrities can be very high. I personally do not have a celebrity barber-crush. However, my Mom who was once a hairstylist tries to live vicariously through me. So, let’s just say that if I ever meet or cut Denzel Washington’s hair it's no longer necessary for me to live so far away from her and my Dad (they live in Florida). LOL!
What would be your million dollar piece of advice for aspiring barbers?
Dig deep and find out what makes you different from your counterparts then embrace it. Being you, and comfortable, is the confidence your future clients will notice and be attracted to.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I recently launched my grooming line named Burke Avenue by Craig the Barber. It was named after the 1st street I lived on when my family and I moved to this country from Jamaica. My first product is a shave cream (Moisturizing Shave Cream) with an aftershave balm and face wash to follow shortly. That said, I am looking to leave a more tangible stamp in the space of men’s grooming with the introduction of a grooming line that pushes the envelope into even better and more effective skincare and haircare. Hopefully, the consumer space will appreciate my efforts to further equip them towards even more handsome possibilities.
You can find Craig The Barber in Social Media:
Instagram: @craigthebarber & @burkeavenue