Today, I am in New Jersey with multi-shop owner Danny Amorim. Not only does he own multiple shops, Danny is also an educator for the Andis Barbering Company as well as a host organizer and judge of barbering battles in the USA. In true Barberman fashion, I came to get his story about his journey into barbering and what is next for him.
What began Danny’s adventure? “Truthfully,” he answers, “it just kind of happened. I started cutting hair because I needed a haircut. Then, I went from cutting my own hair to cutting the hair of people in the neighborhood and making a few bucks on the side. When I graduated high school, I didn’t really want to go to college. My work ethic was there, but I didn’t yet know what my niche was. I lost my job at the time a few days before a gentleman that I knew was opening up a barbershop, so I gave it a shot and here I am.”
And how was it that he came to own his own shop, is my next question. “I started working for someone fresh out of high school in 1998. I worked for that gentleman for about three to three and a half years. He was actually buying this building here, and he sold me his first location. It wasn’t great at first, but I made it something to call my own. It started from four chairs and a small space to three shops now.”
Aside from Danny’s incredible work ethic, what is it that makes The Klippers Barbershop different than other shops in the area? Danny tells me, “We try to keep our professionalism as high as possible, because seriousness is a key quality to me. We continue to go to trade shows, do education, stay up to date with all the newest stuff, etc. We’re always giving our best in quality and marketing. Since we’ve been one of the longest lasting barbershops in this city, it’s helped with the relevancy of everything. We’re a household name now, I’ll put it that way.”
Not only is Danny a household name, he has also gotten himself a gig working with Andis, as mentioned before. I ask him why he believes he was chosen: “That was me barbering myself out of the barbershop,” he admits. “I’m already in here five days a week and working ten to twelve hour days. I’ve tried to raise the prices and rates a few times, but it got to the point where I wanted and needed more. I ventured off and starting going to trade shows and taking educational classes. I got into working off platforms and intrigued me. I felt as if I could do it too. I started dabbling in it, and going continuously around to shows, shaking hands and networking, and they gave me a trial date one day. That’s where I’m at.”
While Danny educates for Andis, he also has his own series of educational DVDs. “The Art of Barbering”, was something he was asked to do. “Since I was doing so much education, doing a ton of classes, one of the main things that students asked me for was continuous education. They’d ask if I had a DVD. I felt like I needed to fill that void, so I shot a couple of DVDs. Altogether, I have about ten different videos that are all step-by-step instruction in different things. Just this weekend, I was in New York and working with someone from the UK. They have a certain way in which they cut hair, and I have my own. It’s good to pick up little things like that, and I try to inquire into those things so I can instill the educational aspect of it in about two and a half hours’ worth of DVD education.” For those looking to purchase the DVDs themselves, you can find Danny’s online store at: klippersbarbershop.com. Along with the DVDs, he has plenty more in the way of product including numerous fashion items for barbers.
The subject then turns to social media, and how Danny feels it has played a part in his business. “Social media is huge,” he tells me. “Years ago, I built a clientele from handing out business cards. Now, with the click of a button, you can reach people all over the world. How I began to create YouTube videos. From those videos, I could put them everywhere on my Facebook page to raise more awareness and do more subliminal marketing. I have tons of stuff on YouTube that you can check out, and it’s not something I’m selling. It’s more inspirational and motivational stuff for barbers. Now we have Instagram. Instagram is all pictures, so you can continuously post pictures of haircuts – it’s a great marketing tool. I’m here today because I use my social media wisely.”
“As far as posts that have excelled or given a kick to my following,” he continues from my next question. “Sometimes, it could just be a motivational post that I do that gives people that energy, that pump – the people that want to do more. Sometimes, it’ll just be a haircut I’m posting, a before-and-after. Sometimes, it can just be one of my motivational speeches and, again, it gives people that ‘oomph’. It helps them realize that with passion, energy and persistence, things can get done.”
And what is the philosophy behind his motivational speeches and posts, his business in general? “You have to put in to get out. Nothing is given, it’s always earned. I just spoke to a barber over the weekend in New York who was thinking about moving from Florida to New York, and he asked how much he could make. I told him that he could make as much as you want to. No one can force him to come into work early or not take phone breaks. It’s up to him to raise the bar and make as much money as they want to. They have to be willing to sacrifice, but if you invest the time, and manage your time well, you can get there.”
Being from the UK, where there are no barber battles, I ask him to give me the run down on how they work. “Barber battles are awesome,” he laughs. “I’ve competed for years. We have different categories, whether it is doing the fastest fade where you have to do a flawless fade in fifteen minutes, or freestyles where you can do whatever you want. We also have duplicate challenges where every single barber has to duplicate a picture. The barber who does it the closest to identical wins everything. Really, it’s about using the platform wisely. I’ve seen people win first place and never remember who they are. So, if you are in a battle, utilize the platform. Shoot a video, post pictures, show off being an award-winning barber.”
As for the prizes involved, he goes on to explains, “Normally, Andis sponsors our tour, so they’re getting some of the latest and best new clippers that can range into the hundreds price wise. They’re also getting $500,000 cash. Sometimes, we have a pot where the duplication winner-gets-all, so if twenty guys compete and it’s a $100 dollar admission, it becomes a $2,000 pot. Those are the set formulas in those cases, anyways. Normally, your going rate is about $500-$1,000 cash, but it really depends on which barber battle you’re going to. The bigger battles have bigger prizes, obviously.”
As for his educational tours, Danny has had the opportunity to visit many international locations. I ask him about some of them, and he answers: “I normally do a lot of stuff for the Andis Company, and they sometimes send me to Puerto Rico or Mexico. I’m Portuguese, so I booked Portugal, and I plan on going to Brazil soon, as well as Columbia. We’re just trying to coordinate everything at the moment. The embracement and quality of life in other regions is just awesome to experience.”
And what is his greatest moment in barbering? Danny relates back to opening his first shop, turning the key and walking into a place that was all his own.
Finally, what is his advice to other up-and-comers out there? “You’re going to have to sacrifice and work your ass off,” he tells me. “You have to offer more than the next guy. You have to want to do more than the next guy, sacrifice more, stay up late, etc. There’s no shortcuts. It’s all about persistence.”
As for what is next for Danny and Klipper Barbershop, he tells me: “I’m at my third location now. I’m going to keep on working with Andis, and I do the Xotics Hair Battle Tour. I just got on to get Blue Moon, which is a product company that I have been traveling all over the country with. I’m looking to do my own educational tour and basically keep trying to inspire barbers all over the world.”
Strong words from a man that works hard every day to inspire others. I know I certainly have been inspired speaking with Danny.
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