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A Must See Barber Interview, With Danny Amorim A.K.A Success Addict

When I met Danny Amorim at the International Beauty Show in New York, I was overwhelmed by his electrifying energy. Danny is the kind of man that speaks, and everyone in the room takes note; his wisdom and charisma are the perfect match to motivate anyone feeling a little slack. In fact, Danny’s resume is packed with job titles such as owner of multiple barber shops, international educator, Gibs Grooming ambassador, and, of course, motivational speaker. So when I sat down with Danny for our interview, I took notes; who wouldn’t when they’re in the company of someone so successful?

 

But more importantly, I wanted to know how Danny built his empire, and how his journey in this industry began. When I asked Danny how he got into this business, he said, “Picked up my first pair of clippers at 14-years-old… The craft just turned into something I loved.”

 

When Danny graduated from high school, he knew that college wasn’t the right path for him, so he went to work at a barbershop. “I took it seriously, and I built a strong clientele,” Danny said.

 

There’s no doubt that Danny took the job seriously, and I loved hearing his story about how he opened his first shop. “I asked the owner of the shop how much it would cost for me to have my own landline in his shop. He looked at me like I had three heads,” Danny said. “I wanted my own line because I was tired of the customer service his clients or his barbers were giving to my clients. I had my own shop in his shop at 20-years-old.”

 

I find it motivating – and humorous – that Danny was able to open up a shop within a shop, but it shows that Danny was always going above and beyond for his clients, even during the beginning of his career.

 

It’s that same work-ethic that allowed Danny to open up his own shop, Klippers Barber Shop, within a year of obtaining his own landline (for all of you Gen Y kids, that’s a home phone). Today, that same phone number still works at his original shop, but Danny has gone on to open up three more barber salons.

 

Barber battles and the value of networking

 

“Right now, our craft in our industry has risen at an all-time high,” Danny said. He’s seen the rise of the barber industry, and how the profession is becoming more valued.

 

“It’s become cool to be a barber now. When I was a kid, I never had that barber I looked up to, that I want to be him when I grew up,” Danny said. “I walked into a barber shop, they’re charging seven dollars, and everyone’s smoking cigarettes in there – that wasn’t something I really wanted to do all of my life.”

 

Now that the industry is booming, Danny knows young kids (his son, included) that want to be a barber when they grow up. One of the reasons that the barber industry is seeing more of a “cool factor” is because of barber battles. When barber battles were just beginning to become popular, Danny was one of the competitors.

 

“I started competing in barber battles back in 2002, 2003 – when they were way smaller scale than here. They would happen maybe, once a year if you were lucky. Now barber battles are popping up every corner you can think of. If you go on social media, sometimes there’s two, three barber battles going on the same weekend,” Danny said. “It’s become a little saturated, you could say. When I used to go, It was more than winning those trophies. I remember going to these battles, and meeting and networking with people. I am where I am today because of my network.”

 

Personally, I think Danny is right. While it’s great to win trophies and new titles (who doesn’t like a resume booster?) – it’s more important to build up a strong network with people in your industry. You never know when an opportunity is going to arise, and knowing the right person can open many doors.

 

Motivational words for those trying to make it

On that positive note, I’d like to note that Danny is, in my opinion, one of the best motivational speakers in the business. Danny isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear, but he will say what you need to hear; and really, that’s the kind of inspiration that we all need.

 

“My speeches will touch you way more, and change your mindset way more, and make you want to grab a pair of clippers,” Danny said. The man knows that he’s good, and he wants you to know that you can succeed as well. But he’s going to be honest with his intended audience.

 

“Some guys, they have the gift. But they don’t have the responsibility, the reliability, customer service, or respect for this industry. They act like people owe them something – no, you owe them something. They’re paying for a service,” Danny said, serving up some realness.

 

I’ve gotta say – Danny is absolutely right. It’s not enough to cut hair well; you’ve got to make your clients want to come back, and to feel comfortable recommending you to their friends. This industry is about the people, and you’ve always got to treat others with respect.

 

While Danny was upbeat and positive during our interview, I was still dying to know what he dislikes about the barber industry. He told me, “What I can say hating is.. the unprofessionalism,” Danny said. “Certain people go to a certain barbershop, and feel like we all run our business like that. No, they run their business like that. I run my business as a business; he runs his business as a playground. There’s a difference there. It’s customer service.”

 

I can understand where Danny is coming from since he wants everyone who visits one of his shops to be comfortable – from the alternative-looking kid to a suburban mom. There’s an atmosphere that he likes to create where everyone is welcome. He even said, “I don’t care if you’re purple, yellow, or green – I want to cut your hair and service you.”

 

But before I let Danny go, I needed to ask what he would tell a barber that is down on their luck. He said, “Just hang in there. We all have rough days… Whatever you do, just go hard at it.” While the advice is simple, it’s also something that we all need to hear occasionally. You don’t become successful without a struggle, so just keep hanging in there. And don’t forget to work hard for what you want.

 

I’ll leave you with those final motivational words. All that’s left to say is thank you to Danny for the interview, and thank you all for reading – come find me on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

USEFUL BARBER LINKS

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Barber’s Resource: https://www.instagram.com/barbarvoo/

http://www.barbarvoo.com

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http://www.instagram.com/larrythebarberman

http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman

http://www.larrythebarberman.com

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Email       info@larrythebarberman.com

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Barber Videos: http://www.barbers.tv

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http://www.larrythebarberman.com  ( My Online Store )

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Barber Blogs:  http://www.frequency60hz.com/blog

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Hair Clipper Converters: http://www.frequency60hz.com

info@frequency60hz.com

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Babyliss 4 Barbers: Educator, Sofie ( StayGold31) Tells Her Story

When I caught up with Sofie Pok  A.k.A  Staygold31 at the International Beauty Show, it was hot off the back of an incredible achievement:  being named BarberCon’s “Best Female Barber of the Year.”  All the more remarkable is this L.A.-based artist won the coveted prize after just seven years working exclusively with men’s hair.

Every barber has to fight to make it to the top, but as a minority within the industry, female barbers find an amplified struggle.  I’ve met many formidable women barbers, each one unique.  Sophie’s tale is a fascinating blend of heart, creativity and hard work.  I am delighted to share more about this delightful person, so let’s get to know Sofie!

Barbering: Something that makes you want to wake up in the morning

Sofie started as a hairdresser in Los Angeles but found the field didn’t generate the excitement and creative sparks she was seeking. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this from both men and women barbers.  I wanted to know more about what motivated her jump from one side of the hair styling industry to the other and how she  felt about the journey.

“I started doing hair about seven years ago, the first year I got into cosmetology,” she says. “Going through that first year was a little bit tough because I couldn’t find that feeling where you’re just excited to get up every day.”

“So, the second year I thought, ‘ before I give it all up, let me try men’s hair and see how that works.’ I jumped into a barbershop, “she said.  Sofie is an incredible presence, an Asian American with magnificent blondish hair and a fantastic scheme of tattoos covering most of her visible skin, many of the inspired by her Cambodian heritage.  Despite the power of her look and personality, she says entering a barber shop “was probably one of the most uncomfortable and intimidating moves I’ve done, working by myself as a female, with all guys who had way more experience.”

But Sofie had found her calling, and went for it hard. “Pretty soon it developed into a passion where it was challenging, it was fast-paced, and it made me want to go to work and keep learning. And my main focus was just to do what I could and try to make it work – because it was fun and I enjoyed it.”

Sofie was soon discovering the creativity for which she is becoming so well known, crafting exceptional haircuts. “You have to!” she said.  “We are the minority of this entire industry in just the barbering world alone, so we’ve got to cut twice as hard. That helped me separate myself from everyone else”.

While reflecting on her barbering roots with me, Sofie was still expressing amazement at her BarberCon achievement.  She says it was a total shock, not least because her only intent in going was to showcase her work.  So how did it feel to be told she’d won a huge barbering prize so suddenly?

“I was completely speechless,” she says with a smile. “To be recognized after all these years of knowing how hard it is first of all to be a barber, but then to be a female which made it extremely difficult in the beginning”.

At my prompting, Sofie shared a theory about why she was selected for the honor, telling me what she puts out is very real, never sugar-coated, and she loves connecting with others who are still coming up, offering advice, inspiration and the energy to keep going.

 

 

 The rise of female barbers

Seeing a woman cutting hair on the barbershop floor used to be rare, but the growth of the industry has gone hand-in-hand with a very welcome rise in diversity, Sofie said.

“Now,  I see growth in a lot of States where women are not afraid anymore. They are coming into this world and trying to hold their own.  It’s starting to change where people aren’t just saying, “Oh, you’re good for a girl.”  No. “You’re good, period.” And that’s what it should be.  It shouldn’t be segregated. “You’re OK for a chick.” But those little things that have pushed me to where I am now; you’ve got to find those moments that drive you even further”.

Sofie is finding ways to help people find that drive, including a YouTube channel of how-to videos: “I think it’s important to show people that you’re not just taking shortcuts and making it look nice,” she said. “I represent BaByliss for barbers, and it’s important for me to show that I’m actually using these tools to do things.”

Sofie’s message is that tools connect you to your work…and bring out your creativity.  “People want to feel like it’s real and attainable,” she said. “I want to break it down and make it easy because I know what it’s like to just be handed a pair of clippers and not really know the specs or what is out there,” she added.  “I break down tool knowledge because it’s important for us to understand why we’re using it so we can do it better.”

Sofie’s Instagram – staygold31- is home to many of these videos and I encourage barbers everywhere to follow her not just for the videos,  but for her inspirational posts and background on the BaByliss products she reps.  Picking up an ambassador role for an excellent product line is a big dream for many barbers, so I asked  how Sofie landed the job:

“A lot of companies are looking for people who can already sell themselves,” she said.” The first four or five years I’ve built my page off of things that I enjoy. You have to find what’s pure to you and that’s how you’re going to build an audience because people want to follow real people.”

She said she was initially skeptical of going into product promotion, but  BaByliss tools are a real part of who she is and what she is doing. “I took the risk and I’m so glad I did,” she smiles.

BaByliss has grown in credibility recently, and it’s great to see barbers embrace another set of tools -after all, the more diversity in your clipper collection, the more opportunities for you to provide different styles. For Sofie, this means getting up on stage and showing what these clippers can do, a role she is clearly good at and enjoys.

The final element to Sofie’s work is building her personal brand, with a range of Stay Gold apron pins for barbers.  You can check these out on Instagram right now and her new website, coming soon.

She’s also focusing on building her photographer chops. “It came with cutting hair,” she told me. “ I used to use an iPhone, but with higher quality photography you can not only put your work out there better but also study your haircuts a little more, see the details.  Overall, you create a better portfolio for yourself, and I think that’s really important as well as your presentation. .”

Sofie stresses a topic in which I believe too many barbers lack awareness: marketing and promotion. “You know you could be a good barber but if you don’t have good presentation, how are you going to get clientele, build business opportunities?” she asks. “People will notice the little details, it separates you, because of the quality that you invest in yourself”.

 

 

Reflecting on the industry

Before I let Sofie get back on stage, I wanted one final insight: her take on the state of the industry today.  I love getting reaction to this question since everyone has a unique insight. With that in mind, and to embrace the positive spirit of the IBS show, I asked Sofie what she loves about the industry:

“How much men’s hair has grown,” she said enthusiastically. “ Because a little while ago men weren’t into their hair as much, but that stigma for men who want to get their eyebrows done, that’s gone.  Now men want to look better and feel better. Men are getting their hair cut 3 or 4 times as much as women now, so the industry is coming up to the same point as female hairdressing.”

That should be a motivating message for every barber!  Hope you enjoyed getting to know another wonderful up-and-comer like Sofie, who bring so much energy and enthusiasm and have inspiring and practical insights to share.  Don’t forget to find her on Instagram as StayGold31.

To get more motivating interviews with the principal industry figures, follow me on Instagram – larrythebarberman- and then head on over to my YouTube channel at barbers.tv.

I’m planning more barber profiles soon. ‘Til then, happy clipping!

 

USEFUL BARBER LINKS

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Barber’s Resource: https://www.instagram.com/barbarvoo/

http://www.barbarvoo.com

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http://www.instagram.com/larrythebarberman

http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman

http://www.larrythebarberman.com

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Email       info@larrythebarberman.com

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Barber Videos: http://www.barbers.tv

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http://www.larrythebarberman.com  ( My Online Store )

=================================================

Barber Blogs:  http://www.frequency60hz.com/blog

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Hair Clipper Converters: http://www.frequency60hz.com

info@frequency60hz.com

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