This time around, I got to talk with Steve who runs House Martin Barbers in Glasgow. I wanted to get his story, advice to other barbers and thoughts on what I represent when I talk about American hair clippers. His insight was amazing.
When we talked about how he got started, Steve told me that he began barbering with his Dad at a young age and got inspired to follow in his footsteps. Using the resources at his disposal, Steve learned from everyone that he could while helping his father and starting cutting hair for his friends; he even started charging them, eventually! He worked hard at his field and taught himself the more he grew, determined to have his own shop someday.
House Martin Barbers would become that shop. It has a lovely, unique design to it that is very different towards most other barber shops. When asked what his thoughts were behind the aesthetic choices, Steve answered that he wanted his shop to feel more classy and comfortable so that customers got a better experience. Delving deeper about what he wants his clients to come away with, he stated that he wanted them to feel like they were welcome from beginning to end. He offers them coffee, water, even whiskey to drink, toiletries after the cut and makes certain they know they are in good hands during their appointment. He and his team use premium products and take the time to educate clients on what they’ve done to achieve the cut and the products used, even how they can use it at home if they like. “I want them to feel like their visit was a knowledgeable one,” Steve commented. It is clear that this barber considers the customer and the cut, even wanting to offer gifts to them after their service.
Walking in on the streets to House Martin Barbers might not be so easy. Due to how intricate and personable each session is, Steve comments that they will take walk-ins if there is room but it is very rare that they can be seen right away. Some might find themselves waiting for hours for a chair to open up, but it doesn’t bother Steve. He feels that it keeps up with the service they strive for and that they can focus more attention on giving the best instead of pushing customers in and out as fast as possible. He’s considering taking on more appointments to make the days more eventful.
Steve considers education important and feels that his own got him to one of his proudest moment, the opening of House Martin Barbers, in question. He’s not certain of the future when it comes to education but indicated that he would definitely like to get involved and pick up even more crafts to help expand his shop: more services for more clients.
Some shops have a style or service they are best known for or enjoy doing the most. When asked, Steve said that they often get requests for shaves, fades and slick-backed styles from gentlemen, though they can handle most of everything thrown at them. Broad requests are no trouble and Steve said that it is all different throughout the day, but they handle it. He sees a large request for classic haircuts, which does fit with the shop nicely.
To keep up with the various requests, I asked him what does he keep in his tool bag to handle each request. His hair clipper of choice is the Wahl Senior, a clipper he says keeps up and makes the job much easier for him. His scissors are a seven inch Kobe pair in black – he said they were quite daunting, initially, but are amazing now that he is used to it and use them all the time. Lastly, he keeps a razor on hand for shaves. His advice to other barbers is to experiment and try new things when it comes to equipment. The key is finding out what works best for them and their client.
I next asked him about his feelings towards the hype for American hair clippers in the UK. Steve answered that he felt it was great for expansion in the barbering community and certainly makes for an excellent conversation piece. He has his favorite in the Wahl Senior line, but encourages others to continue trying new equipment. If anything, he showed gratitude towards the Frequency60hz for helping barbers get more equipment working for them and providing access to Americn hair clippers stirring the barbering community to excitement.
We finished up by me asking what is next for House Martin Barbers. Steve laughed and said the first course of business was to hire on more barbers and make his shop a sort of “hub”. The idea of more customer interaction and future events was on his mind – so be keeping a look out on this classy Glasgow shop in the future!
For those interested in more information about using U.S hair clippers in foreign countries to achieve interesting new styles, check out the Frequency 60hz here: http://www.larrythebarberman.com
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