How to Travel to NYC for $500 or Less! (For Her Chair His Hair Presents: Lady Barber Showcase)

In our industry it seems that we always come last. Haircuts, doctor appointments, happy hour and even a short vacation. Our clients seem to always need us when we're about to walk away and after restocking on products, sharpening shears, or covering booth rent, there seems to be very little money left to splurge. 

So how the hell are you supposed to make it to New York City for a weekend of networking, education and, ultimately, a great time at Her Chair His Hair Presents: Lady Barber Showcase?

I'm glad you asked.
 

Naturally, this varies based on where you are located and how far in advance you plan but luckily in the United States flight prices can dip unless they are in high demand. Statistically, after back to school and before Thanksgiving, many people aren't looking to travel and prices become much more affordable. 

I love to travel and I love to make last minuted decisions about where I'm going which usually results in having to squeeze here and budget there when it comes to my trips. So I thought I would share a few things to help make it financially possible to get out of your house and on the next flight to New York. (Truthfully, I just REALLY want to see your face at my event so I can hug you for all of your online support thus far!)

Travel Options

A lot of people think the only way to get somewhere else is by plane. Granted, we are working on shorter weekends than most, so typically it is best. But if you're coming from the East Coast, perhaps consider the bus?

Kiplinger.com points out 'For example, an advance-purchase Greyhound bus ticket for travel in October from Raleigh, N.C., to New York cost $45 versus $52.95 to fill up a 15-gallon tank at the average East Coast gas price of $3.53 a gallon (and you'll need to fill up more than once for a drive of that distance). A one-way Amtrak train ticket for the same route would cost $90.'

If taking a bus, or driving, is not possible and flights are the way to go, consider which airport you fly into. I've found that I can save $50-$100 flying in or out of JFK versus LGA and Newark. Which brings me to my next point.

Cross Check Flight Prices

Most people directly go to the website of their airline of choice and call it a day. I've found there are a few ways to find the ultimate flight within your budget. 

  1. Google! If you simply put in origin and destination Google will show you all different versions of flights that range in time, layovers, and price.
  2. Google comes to the rescue again. Similarly, if you find that plain old Google isn't doing it for you there is the Flight Matrix. It sounds way more complicated than it really is but if you do a little leg work you will find that you can save sometimes up to $100 on a flight with this bad boy.
  3. Points! Have a credit card that you forgot has amazing deals for spending money on it? Chase Sapphire Visa, Amex for Jetblue and Delta, and Chase Freedom are just a few cards I use to take my money already spent and turn it into a flight somewhere more exciting. I recently even booked a flight to Long Beach, California for Modown Barber Exhibit for the price of taxes ($11.20). That's it!
  4. Buddy passes. Know someone that works for an airline? More than likely they have one or two of these up their sleeve and maybe in exchange for some haircuts and beers they will be willing to help you out. Typically these are for one way so you will have to purchase another one way back but have no fear! Most airlines like American Airlines, Jetblue and Southwest love doing deals on Mondays or Tuesdays for one way flights. 

Airbnb to the Rescue!

Hotels and other traditional versions of stay in New York can run you $250 at least per night unless you're far out near the airport or in New Jersey. Why not stay down the block from the Lady Barber Showcase hosted at 28 on 27 Shoot Studio and Event Space located at 28 West 27th Street, New York, New York and in the middle of everything Manhattan has to offer?

  1. On average, to rent an entire apartment on Airbnb.com in New York will save you 21.2% and run you $180 per night. (http://priceonomics.com/hotels)
  2. If you decide to rent a room in an apartment sublet style, you will end up saving 49.5%. ALMOST HALF!
  3. If you really want to maximize your savings, you can split said Airbnb apartment with fellow barbers or friends who have always wanted to come to New York City (and see ladies kick ass while showcasing). 
  4. Want to save an extra $20? Use my referral link. No seriously, it doesn't expire and you can have it. I'm not sure if I truly even get anything for it but that's okay, I just want to see you on the 25th! 

If Airbnb still exceeds your budget, consider hostels which are a way more affordable option to hotels and require sharing some space but are typically very safe. If you're a member of Couchsurfing.com then you are all set with lodging!

Purchase Ahead of Time

This seems really obvious but a lot of people don't consider the money spent on dining out, seeing the sights and other incidentals while you're in New York. Websites like Groupon, LivingSocial, TravelZoo, and others are all about saving you money and promoting local businesses. 


Overall, if you search head to toe for the right flight and book through Airbnb, for two to three days in New York City, you can actually do the entire trip for $500. It of course helps to travel with someone else to split the expenses. But it's doable! And I hope that this will help when planning your trip to the Her Chair His Hair Presents: Lady Barber Showcase on Sunday, October 25th at 6:30 pm. (Shameless plug!)

Until Next Time,

Cassie

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

 

The Best Worst Yelp Review

I think everyone has caught on to the fact that I write about what occurs during the week in my shop and chair. It's inevitable that an idea will spark from what I deal with every day but I want to put it out there that it is the strangest thing for me to write and think half the people reading will care. It also needs to be said, though, that every article and topic I write, every Lady Barber I feature, and every event I report, are integral parts of each Barber's career in our industry. Whether it's color, consultation, struggles, or successes, we as Barbers can all relate with sympathy and interest. 

With that being said, I wanted to touch on a topic that has increasingly been the cause of success or demise to a Barber (and every other business) in the past decade. Yelp. I have worked as a bartender, in retail, as a makeup artist and now a Barber so I have always known the mantra 'The customer is always right'. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we as professionals would be so susceptible to a disgruntled clients' complaint. Do we always aim to please every one? I'd hope so, scratch that, know so. But more and more we are finding people are lashing out for things beyond a company's control; like the unhappy customer who wanted to take food to-go from a fine dining restaurant. 

This is the story of the best one star review I will ever hope for in my career.

Picture a quiet, rainy evening in the shop. You know the kind where you had a few reschedules and nobody is venturing out in that weather on a Monday. I was quietly working on a colleague's hair and discussing new products that we had just received; no big deal. Remember when I discussed a few weeks ago how Your Clients Hair Is Not A Coloring Book? Well this situation definitely validates that article. 

To give a quick run-down: a client was given to a stylist, instead of me, the Barber, because my price-point was a bit higher. No big deal, it happens and I'm okay with that. But in this particular instance, the stylist was given quite a few men that day and I had noticed a certain lack of joy when it came to cutting men's hair. None of my business, I have my clients and this was her walk-in. What resulted from this appointment could either help or hurt me because most people do not read a full Yelp review and only look at the rating and the name.

So as you can see this client was extremely unhappy given his rating and narrative in the beginning. Where do I come in to play you ask? That follows soon after...

Luckily, I was available to assess the situation. How nice of him to say! So why is this bad? Because each person that reads this review has the opportunity to actually read it in entirety or see the one star and only my name because he was protecting the negligent party. Sigh...

Overall, he put really positive comments about me and luckily at the end as well so hopefully the people skimming will be confused and read in detail.

So why is this the worst and best review of my career? Because I'm crazy quite frankly. I only see the good in things and refuse to feel bad that my name is associated with a one star review. The people who choose to skim are like the lady who chose to ignore the fact that a fine dining restaurant does not do delivery or to-go orders. More than likely you don't want them in your chair anyway.

As for the other people who do their research and don't disqualify you based off one review are the loyal clients, the long-timers. They are the guys who show you photos of their kids growing up, ask for your opinion on a sticky situation, and take care of you after all the times you have taken care of them. 

Next time you have someone in your chair that you think is a 'Yelper' and may wreak havoc, remember this article. If you can do something to achieve a better result or outcome - do it. But let's not forget that not all bad reviews are truly bad. *wink wink* Catch you Thursday 11 AM EST!

Always,

Cassie

Instagram Recap: Barbers Who Rock!

This weekend was so wonderful because of one thing: YOU. I posted a video on Friday admitting I didn't know you had to check for a hashtag and it's true! But now that I do know, I've been checking daily and I LOVE IT! You all rock so much so I thought your best work should be featured on here. Some are from our recently featured Lady Barbers (you guys rock) others are from some of our biggest supporters while a few are tagged by our brother Barbers!

Right here, this, is exactly what I meant when I wrote 'Our Story'. I want this website to foster a sense of community, to promote each other and to see the men promoting the ladies' work and vice-versa. You all rock! So sit back and scroll through some wonderful work before the rest of your crazy day.

Remember to tag us @HerChairHisHair and to use our hashtag #HerChairHisHair so we can repost your awesome work!


Always,
C

Posted and hashtagged by @Roqkandy

Posted and hashtagged by @Roqkandy

"All razor work." Posted and hashtagged by recently featured Lady Barber @inotsasha

"All razor work." Posted and hashtagged by recently featured Lady Barber @inotsasha

Posted and hashtagged by @Lipstick_barber REPOSTED by @Edwin_Scissorhand  Big thanks to @Edwin_Scissorhand for showing Lady Barbers love!

Posted and hashtagged by @Lipstick_barber REPOSTED by @Edwin_Scissorhand

Big thanks to @Edwin_Scissorhand for showing Lady Barbers love!

"Total Restyle! Without a doubt one my best cuts so far. Looking seriously sharp!"    Posted and hashtagged by @thenerdybarber

"Total Restyle! Without a doubt one my best cuts so far. Looking seriously sharp!"

Posted and hashtagged by @thenerdybarber

Posted and hashtagged by @Fussthebarber - he's one of our gentlemen supporting #HerChairHisHair so thank you!

Posted and hashtagged by @Fussthebarber - he's one of our gentlemen supporting #HerChairHisHair so thank you!

Posted and hashtagged by @artful_barber

Posted and hashtagged by @artful_barber

One more post and hashtag by @Lipstick_barber ...she's beautiful and so is her work!

One more post and hashtag by @Lipstick_barber ...she's beautiful and so is her work!