State of the Union: Taking Back Our Industry

Tonight I was involved in a conversation amongst many peers that discussed where the industry was going for Barbers and what we could do to improve it. There was talk about how Barbers are being poorly represented in the media all the way to how Barbers represent themselves poorly. It took me a minute to realize why I felt like I have heard this conversation before but not amongst Barbers and finally it hit me: every industry is currently facing the same problem.

If you read or keep up with my previous posts then you know that I have this knack for intertwining multiple industries or topics that seemingly have nothing to do with each other. It's a blessing and a curse because I can go completely off topic but I promise I always have a point. Stick with me.

Barbers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and nail technicians or aestheticians are facing the same reality: prices keep going up and wages stay the same, or in some cases, decrease. Before I became a Barber I was a makeup artist for quite a few years and a freelance makeup artist at that aka struggle city. We are constantly fighting as makeup artists to prove our worth to clients amongst a growing crowd of upcoming artists and the generation of established artists before us. 

But Barbers work in shops or studios, they don't 'freelance', so why are they struggling? I'm glad you asked. I'll get back to that.

Another issue is reputation amongst our industries and how the public perceives us. Half of it is from what they've experienced in their daily life and the other half is from what they see on television.  

You're telling me makeup artists don't rip each others hair out on set? No way. 

Another known fact about me is I don't keep my mouth shut and sometimes to a fault but it's who I am and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. With that being said, everyone knows I speak out often on women as Barbers and how we are constantly perceived as eye candy rather than equals at events. 

So, wait, most Barbers who happen to be women don't dress like they're on a yacht in Miami with Pitbull? Sadly not.

Perception. That's how we take our industry back.

You are only good as your perceived value in this era of being a Barber or makeup artist. That's why visually stimulating social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram and even Vine make a big impact. If you can walk the walk after talking the talk then you have instantly increased your value to complete strangers. 

People are learning how to perceive us through television shows or movies like Barbershop, Blush, Jerseylicious, Face Off and Cedric's Barber Battle. Not all are bad but not all are good either because they are completely one-sided and, in return, professionals feel like they're not being properly represented. 

When the public watches these shows that create a gilded perception, it instantly decreases the value of our work. They see the easiest and most simplified aspects of it and think that's all it requires to become successful. Forget the hundreds and thousands of hours of training or experience and the heavy investments into your kit or tools. You just get it for free like the Youtube gurus, right?

This leads me back to the earlier question of why Barbers struggle. We allow the public's perception to control our pricing.

Only in the Barbershop community have I seen such disdain for people who increase their prices based on their experience, market and simple ability to do so. Products have gone up in price, so has rent and every other utility, plus your own bills to support yourself. So why haven't your prices? Because we continually allow the public to say,"But it's so easy, look at XYZ show! So why are you charging so much?"

...Because I like to eat. (Cupcakes, for any of you who were wondering. My birthday is January 28th.)


Recently I have found myself heavily investing in my continued education, taking time to network with my peers and just take a step back to listen. So many Barbers have so much to say about the rapid decline of how Barbers are perceived but, equally, so many have hopes for changing that and taking our industry back.

There's a quote that says,"The world is full of nice people. If you can't find one, be one." 

This industry is brimming with talent: established and upcoming. If you can't find something that makes you proud and willing to represent it, then make a change. There is one thing that stands true in any industry and that is if you build it they will come. Small changes create a ripple effect in our small community that reach out to our clients and their friends or families which in return will help build a positive perception. 

Think about it.

Until Next Time,
Cassie

 

HerChairHisHair & El Patron Men's Grooming Takeover Premiere Orlando!

It's official, y'all! Some of the best barbers from across the country are all going to be at one booth during Premiere Orlando.

Her Chair His Hair will be joining the team at El Patron to bring a full line up of non-stop cutting both days at the show. The floor will be open both Sunday, May 31st and Monday, June 1st, which to my excitement is the one year anniversary of HerChairHisHair.com! 

We are blessed to be featuring AbbieChuelas, QueenCutsNRoses, AkaeAllDay, Mariela_The_Barber, INotSasha, and Shardae_Abbadie who will be giving some great education while cutting. 

So come by to get a cut, ask the ladies some questions and grab some cupcakes to celebrate on Monday. 

Lena Piccininni cuts HerChairHisHair at The Line Up Inc Event

Recently a group of talented and motivated barbers came together to form The Line Up Inc here in New York. It consists of 7 barbershops who put on showcases and bring our industry together while showcasing some of the finest talent it has to offer.

While at one of their events hosted at Filthy Rich Barbershop in Queens, NY I had the pleasure to be cut by Lena Piccininni. She was asked to cut on the fly and, therefore, needed a model last minute so of course I said yes to being cut by one of my fellow ladies! Lena did not use any of her own tools so I thought that was pretty awesome, she just went for it. 

TheFit_Barber, David Falla, and I figured not only would this be a fun video but a great opportunity to show us having fun while Lena kicks ass. A big thank you to David for putting this awesome video together and not looking at me like I was crazy when I first asked at the event. 

Enjoy.

Full disclosure: I came from working in the shop all day and had a decent amount of product in my hair so please excuse it. :-X

www.HerChairHisHair.com

Produced by FITBARBER @thefit_barber

Music: Maroon 5 - Sugar (remix)

Finally! The Video You've Been Waiting For...

On November 30, 2014 five women from across the country came to join in on an amazing photo shoot. I've anxiously been waiting to release the women's photos and haircuts but this photo definitely helps in the meantime! 

Featured in the video are mini interviews of Roqkandy, Corina_LadyBarber, Lici_LadyBarber, QueenCutsNRoses, and of course StylistFairy!  Some of these ladies will be at the She's My Barber Battle on January 18th in Oakland, California so don't forget to check them out ahead of time!

The video was filmed and edited by none other than Will Rodriguez at Above The Norm Films who I think has done an amazing job. A big thank you to my amazing sponsor, Always Pro Barbers, photographer Alana Tyler Slutsky, social media expert Tiffany Greenstreet, videographers Will Rodriguez and Erin Yamagata, kick ass assistant Samantha Thomas and Skyla Veltman, booker extraordinaire at Wilhelmina Models Men's Division. 

Enjoy!

Always,
Cassie

January 18th: "She's My Barber Battle"

"She's My Barber Battle"

All Female Barber Competition and Education

I cannot stress how excited I am for this competition everyone! There will be some amazing ladies battling like HerChairHisHair featured barbers Lady Jae and Corina with Rachel "Roqkandy" Graziano coming to support! Maybe we can get her to battle, too. ;) Of course there will be featured judge Lici_LadyBarber so I cannot wait to catch up with all of these talented women and you should take advantage of meeting them all under the same roof.

Kerry of ShesMyBarber has promised a super competition! From the combover/fade to 15 minute fast fade and freestyle as well it will be a day full of hard work and some fantastic cuts. Competitors are up for gift bags, trophies and cash prizes too! There will also be plenty of education so for all my students and cosmos reading this, I cannot stress how important it will be to attend. Network with your fellow ladies but most importantly walk away with some serious knowledge!

Check the photo below for details and click on it to register for the event and competition!

Always,

Cassie