I am here at the Birmingham NEC for barber U.K and I got the opportunity to speak to Luigi about his journey to wining Best Shaver in Britain in 2015. Barbering caught his eye through his father and older brother however, growing up he didn’t know if that was his ambition as well. 25 years passed between 10 year old Luigi going to his Dad’s shop after school and him opening his own shop and ultimately winning Britain’s best shaver.
Luigi’s barbering life was following in the family’s footsteps. He went to the shop every day growing up, learning more and more and then eventually starting college in barberry. However, he desired adventure. He started visiting his brother in England for holiday but felt the pressure of his father to be back to run the shop. He eventually left and moved to Scotland however, with little English he couldn’t get a barbering job even though there was a market for it. This began a huge hiatus and wondering if barbering was the right path for him.
Luigi’s brother offered him a dishwashing job in his restaurant, which started his 9-year break from barbering. His English drastically improved which allowed him to be a waiter but at this point barbering had gone on the back burner. However, ambitions don’t ever get completely forgotten. A bit of belief from a stranger and convincing from Luigi got him a 1-day a week trial at the barber he frequented.
His skill is what escalated his career after this point. The barber was already offering him permanent work after 1-week. By the next year he had opened his own Italian shop and his drive to get there led him straight to the top.
I was curious as to his inspiration to apply for the Britain’s Best Shaver competition. However, his answer was simple. He wanted to know where his skill ranked. In his first year, 2014 he lost in the quarterfinal. His nervous hand didn’t keep him from winning the next year. He won purely because he was himself.
Making his customers feel comfortable is what he strives for most. He said school didn’t teach him the skills that helped him win, growing up in a barbering family and watching his father and brother. However, although he won, he doesn’t see himself as any better or worse than anyone else because in the end this community is a big family.
Winning however didn’t go unnoticed by others. His business and wages jumped dramatically and he saw doors open that he never expected. He started doing seminars around the U.K, he was sponsored by an official barber, he got the job as the Glasgow Rangers Football Teams official barber, as well as people sought out going to his shop over others which improved his business 50-95%. After many years of putting barbering in on the back burner he is heading full force to the top.
He hopes others won’t give up on barbering and will keep at it and apply for competition even if it’s just to gain experience because it opens a lot of doors. You never know what can happen and Luigi is over the moon sitting here as last years champion.
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