With palm trees waving in the cool Californian ocean breeze behind us, I sat down in the warm sunshine with Dieuwertje. Malibu Beach was the perfect setting to get this interview going and find out the story behind Dieuwertje’s success as a barber.
Finishing high school, Dieuwertje had a million ideas for her future. She wanted to do a bit of everything, with dreams of being a Marine to running a beauty salon. Essentially, she didn’t really know what she wanted to do. Inspired by her mom who ran a beauty company, Dieuwertje went to study beauty with an attitude of nonchalance but dedication to her studies nonetheless. After two years of study in the beauty industry, Dieuwertje started dabbling around hairdressing. She spent much of her time from morning to evening, even on school holidays, learning about hair styling and using toy dolls as her models. Dieuwertje progressed in her career with a very relaxed attitude, telling me that she thought along the way that “why not, everybody can learn doing haircuts”.
As we chat more, I start to ask Dieuwertje about her interest in barbering specifically. It started on a bit of a whim, when she was doing hairdressing mixed for both guys and girls. Many clients would come to her asking if she cuts beards. Her response at first was that she could, but she just didn’t have the tools for it. This was no real obstacle for Dieuwertje however, laughing as she says she “just Googled it” to find out how to barber. Her interest grew more and more in barbering and eventually Dieuwertje just decided “I want to open a barber shop”. She didn’t care too much about the doubtful questions from onlookers wondering just how she was going to start a barber shop. Dieuwertje started off small, setting up a men’s corner in her mom’s beauty salon, and refining her barbering techniques here.
Barbering was a refreshing change for Dieuwertje. While she simultaneously still cut and coloured women’s hair, she enjoyed the chilled out vibe with the guys. Rather than listening to the typical gossip and relationship problems that women tend to spill out at the hairdresser, Dieuwertje felt more comfortable doing guys hair. She invested a lot of time in education and interest in developing new techniques.
Dieuwertje never really expected barbering to take her around the world, but that’s exactly what it has done. She started entering competitions and competed in five last year. She started at the Spanish Barbering Competition and going to other countries around Europe such as The Netherlands and Britain. Her talents even took her the Barber Shop Connect, a prestigious competition where a nomination meant a lot to her. All this barbering experience and skills is a real credit to Dieuwertje – especially for someone who is only 22 years old! Not to mention the impressive fact that she is self-taught as well – this is just another reason that I felt like I was talking to a 35 year old during this interview.
Her youth is certainly just another motivating factor. Deiuwertje demonstrated to me again how motivated she was, speaking of goals she wanted to tick off her bucket list, with travel being a huge part of this. Dieuwrtje is clearly interested in barbering for the right reasons. She tells me honestly that to her it isn’t “about awards or always being the best”, but rather just self-improvement and being the best she can be at something she loves.
Dieuwertje is clever in how she combines her formal education and her life learning together. Her accumulative life experience and awesome attitude make her a great teacher as well. She runs education courses for other aspiring barbers. In these, she explains step-by-step hair cutting processes and shares her top tricks and techniques. Dieuwertje’s vast experience in barbering and approachable personality make these educational course highly effective.
Being on the younger side means that the realm of social media isn’t intimidating for Dieuwertje. She knows what hashtags to use on her instagram account and knows the right people to follow. Dieuwertje also acts an ambassador for big companies, helping to give herself a good name as well as boosting the business of companies on her Facebook.
A real unique character in the barbering industry and an inspiring one at that, chatting to Dieuwertje was really motivating. Seeing how someone so young can achieve so much with the right type of attitude and dedication is refreshing to see. For more cool chats to some incredible barbering professionals, subscribe to my youtube channel, follow me on instagram, and check out some barbering content on my Facebook page.
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