Every time I interview a Lady Barber, it is usually my first conversation with them. Luckily for me, I was able to meet a few barbers during my adventures to San Francisco and San Diego, California. Currently located at Left Coast Cuts in Lemon Grove, San Diego, Shardae (@Shardae_Abbadie) and I hit it off instantly! So, naturally, I asked to chat with her so I could *maaaybe* post an interview about her career. Gladly she said yes and I am so excited to share her story with you all. A beautiful soul on the inside and out, Shardae is armed with wit, grace and the ability to fade like nobody has seen.
HCHH: What inspired you to become a Barber? Did you start off as one?
Shardae_Abbadie: I first received my license almost 7 years ago in Cosmetology. I worked out of salons doing women's hair for about 3 years and although I liked it, I felt I wasn't as passionate about it as when I first started in high school. I started dating someone that was a barber and I found that I really loved the entire craft from the bond I build with my male clients to the precision in the detail it requires to achieve a great haircut.
HCHH: Did you two end up working together?
Shardae_Abbadie: Yeah, my boyfriend and I at the time began to work at the same shop. He was such an excellent barber, always in demand! One day he asked me to cut his hair and shape up his beard, it was only a taper and line up since he had dreads but I remember being so nervous. In my head I kept thinking "OMG this guy that has clients lined up for hours want me to cut his hair." [laughs] So finally I finished the cut and thought to myself,"Ok this isn't so bad, but now you have to do the beard," and that's where the problem came in.
HCHH: So it turned out perfectly and you instantly loved it?
Shardae_Abbadie: No, I remember I totally messed up his beard; I took it too high on the jaw line and too far in on the sides! Since he was such a good barber, he obviously knew when his cut was off but he didn't say he was upset or anything. I knew that what he really wanted to do was shave his beard off and I felt so bad for weeks after that!
He continued to ask me to cut him up over and over, though. Finally one day I realized he hadn't gone back to his original barber, I asked him why he hadn't and he said because he preferred my cuts instead now. I felt on top of the world, it felt so good to hear him say that! It lit a fire inside of me and I began to think how I can actually be pretty good at this barbering stuff!
HCHH: Okay, a bit tumultuous but you came out victorious! Now that you've handled that hurdle, approximately how many clients do you see? Are you normally booked in advance?
Shardae_Abbadie: On a typical day I usually see about 10-12 clients. Of course if it's really slow I'll see less. At the moment the only days I'm booked in advance are Fridays and Saturdays.
HCHH: What kind of reaction, if any, do you receive from people when they find out what you do for a living?
Shardae_Abbadie: Usually, people don't believe me at first. Once they wrap their head around that idea, they always think I'm no good. My Instagram definitely helps me make believers out of anyone who doubts me.
HCHH: If people seem so incredulous upon just meeting you, how do guys in the shop react? Have you ever been refused by a client?
Shardae_Abbadie: Yes, in the beginning of my career, but not so much now. But I will say this: the only reason a man won't sit in my chair, even to this day, is because I am a woman. Nothing more, nothing less.
HCHH: I know I probably seem like a broken record but every time I can't help but think 'Wow, you're booked that much and they still refuse you?' I think it's crazy. Anyway, something more fun; FOOD! Name your favorite snack...I always have to know.
Shardae_Abbadie: My favorite "healthy" snack is some mixed nuts; I try to always have some in the shop. If I have more time I will make a Starbucks run and grab a Green Tea Lemonade and a Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Panini.
HCHH: -____- That sounds so delicious right now. And do you have any pet peeves related to shop life?
Shardae_Abbadie: Yeah, actually, speaking of food. I dislike when a common area in the shop isn't kept clean. We all eat here, use the restroom, store our food, and whatever else, can we please all do our part to keep it clean?
Oh, it bothers me when the weather is hot and a client will come in all sweaty asking for a skin fade. I feel like saying cool off before I start! [laughs] Plus it makes it twice as hard to fade since the blade won't glide smoothly.
HCHH: What's your favorite tool to use in the shop? Does it help with your sweaty fades? :)
Shardae_Abbadie: My favorite tool has to be my straight razor. I just love how perfect you can make lines look once finishing it off with a razor!
HCHH: Are there any events coming up that you'll be participating in? Do you have any goals, hopes, or dreams that pertain to your career as a barber that you’d like to share?
Shardae_Abbadie: I will be attending the Xotics Tour in Las Vegas on October 5, 2014 - come find me! As far as goals, ultimately I would love to be able to educate and teach the next generation of barbers.
HCHH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Shardae_Abbadie: I would just like to add that I think it's great what you are doing for the industry Cassie! This blog is a great way to give exposure to females in a such a male dominated industry!
Oh man, Shardae has me blushing with that last comment. Seriously though, it is such a pleasure interviewing these women every single time. Not only do I have the pleasure of speaking with such successful barbers but the opportunity to create this network of women who want to support each other while introducing both men and clients into this world of talented creatives.
Did I tell you she was crazy talented, or what? Shardae made my trip so fun and so well worth flying across the country which I don't think many people can say about somebody they've never met before. So a big THANK YOU to one of the best Lady Barbers in Downtown San Diego area!
Want to book @Shardae_Abbadie? Find all of her booking information on her Instagram or by leaving a comment below. I can't wait to reveal who is lined up for our next featured Lady Barber! Stick with me, Mondays and Thursdays (mostly) at 11 AM EST, see you then!