BlackEnterprise.com: The competition is fierce in Los Angeles. How did you rise above the noise and establish your niche?
‘Craig the Barber’: I felt it was important to stand out from the crowd. When I first started out, I realized that most barbers had very little interest in providing wet-shaving services for their customers (i.e. straight-razor shaving). But I really enjoyed it. So, I began to market myself as a shaving expert. Ironically, most of the in-store education I had been providing for Lab Series Skincare For Men gave me even greater validation as a category expert.
From there, I wanted to both build momentum and further establish myself as a shaving expert. IÂ created a blog, TheMensRoom.com,Â and began to market signature haircutting techniques that were specifically basedÂ on a man’s facialÂ shape. And I never rest! I am always looking for ways to enhance what I am doing.
Any expert shaving tips you’d offer to someone seeking a stellar shave?
The most important tip is to know the growth pattern of your beard and avoid shaving against the grain, especially if you’re susceptible to ingrown hairs. Secondly, never discount the importance of moisturizing. It’s the key to a close and comfortable shave, as well as healthy looking skin.
My How To ShaveÂ videoÂ breaks this down in greater detail.
Do you see yourself expanding or franchising?
I am always working on ways to expand my reach. One of my long-term career goals is to open a barber academy where I can pass on my skills and experience on to the next generation of barbers and stylists. That would be a very fulfilling accomplishment.
What’s been your biggest challenge in owning and operating your own business?
Honestly, the biggest challenge is wearing multiple hats. As a business grows, the goal is to build your bench, which provides increased opportunities to creatively pursue your vision. Until that day comes, however, I am cheerfully switching from baseball hats to fedoras, as the need arises.Â Ha!
Where can our readers go to learn more about you and keep up with your latest musings?
My blog,Â TheMensRoom.com. It offers over 500+ articles on all things men’s grooming from a barber’s perspective. My websiteÂ CraigtheBarber.comÂ and on social media:Â Facebook,Â Twitter,Â LinkedIn,Â YouTube,Â InstagramÂ andÂ Pinterest.
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is founder and CEO ofÂ WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter:Â @wsrapportÂ or visit her website,Â www.WordSmithRapport.com.