February 17, 2020
There has been a lot of changes go down in the Barbershop scene over the last decade and while there has been somewhat of a renaissance of sorts we definitely draw on both the old and the new at the store here in Charlestown. In the industry abroad there are more and more female barbers joining the ranks and getting elbow deep in the hustle, locally we have our very own Lady Laura who is cutting a living amongst the men at Barber Industries in Charlestown. Today we get her run down and observations on the Contemporary Barbershop and find out what the ladies bring to this ever changing landscape.
Can you tell us a little about your training and the journey that you took to get to where you are with Barber Industries today?
My journey began humbly, I first started here as a receptionist and then as time passed bye, my interest in the broader works of the barbershop began to grow. I was very lucky and was presented with the opportunity to get involved in the cutting and styling aspects of the operation. That was a real life changing moment as it was the turning point that brought me to where I am today. In this game you are continuously growing, things change fast and I am always learning. It’s rewarding, there is a high level of pride and a feeling of accomplishment that you get when completing a clients hair.
Who has been the biggest influence in shaping your career and from whom within the industry do you draw inspiration from?
My biggest influences have come from Matt and Reza here at the store, that is due to the fact that they are continuously pushing me and giving me the motivation to expand my knowledge of the industry and my craft. That drive has helped me give more consideration to aspects like managing a store, interacting with customers and presenting the face of the company.
Barbering was once heavily dominated by men, that is quickly changing, do you see equal respect for men and woman based on their skill set and do you think woman bring a different versatility to the team?
For sure, you have to acknowledge that there has been dramatic change within the industry but that runs more broadly in society also. I believe that there is an increasing amount of respect for women in the workplace, however it is something that is being earned along the way, not just given. More and more woman are joining our industry and then proving themselves as tradesman amongst their piers and that brings the respect that they rightly deserve. I do believe women are able to bring a different versatility to the team, they bring a unique perspective and this can bring about a balance that is otherwise not there.
Social media has changed a lot of things and it's definitely changed the way people communicate with their Barber. There is a constant stream of trend and clients will often bring in a photo of a style they'd like. The platforms can be a good way to help keep your finger on the pulse, what do these channels offer you as a professional?
Social media has increased the ability to interpret foreign styles and put them into practice as well as being able to adapt and learn unique techniques as a professional, it has given the ability to easily access information form other barbers which can then be incorporated into our own skill sets. Social media has also made client interaction much more seamless, especially Instagram, as it can kind of act like a modern day style book. Lastly, I think the platforms are a great tool for promoting the business and offer a way to showcase the skills of the team.
What is trending right now and where do see the industry heading, any big developments in the next five years?
Right now I see the zero fade and skin fades being popular, especially with the younger guys and the sporty types. The slick back is making a resurgence and there is a lot of different products out there which makes the styling for this easily achievable. We do a lot of beard maintenance and there seems to be more a more clients enjoying this aspect of our offering. Looking forward, It is hard to visualise where the trends will go but the momentum in the industry seems solid, I think we will see continued pull towards the traditional service as more people become accustomed to that tradition.
Lastly, how about the role of the female barber, do you think that the role will continue to change in the future?
I think we will continue to see more and more females showing an interest in the industry, this could help to give confidence to others and then encourage even more woman to pursue a career in barbering. I also believe that the role of the barber is going to evolve regardless of gender, I think that everyone gets into the thick of it together and the whole crew move forward as a team.