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Patty Cuts surprises NFL wide receiver with Madden #99 Club news

Legendary Florida based barber Patty Cuts a.k.a Pat Regan delivered more than just a great haircut to one of his VIP clients this week…

Michael Thomas, the incredible New Orleans Saints wide receiver, was announced this week as the 5th and final player to be inducted into the EA Sports Madden NFL 21 exclusive #99 club… the club for the players with the highest combined ratings in the annual NFL video game.

Who better to make the announcement, than Patty, Michael’s barber and close friend…! Captured live and posted on the EA Sports Madden 21 Twitter account, the excitement and hype of the moment was not lost on either of the guys!

Watch in full below!

OUT NOW: ISSUE 21 UK & IRELAND (JULY/AUGUST)

It has been a difficult few months for our beloved industry. The pandemic has affected us all in different ways, but barbers are resilient and we know that they will come back from this stronger and better than ever.

Speaking of a comeback… we are so excited to share this new issue of BarberEVO with you. As UK and Irish barbers all prepare to get back to doing what they do best, we hope that this comeback edition of our magazine can inspire and inform you as best as possible.

We made the decision early on, as the pandemic set in, as difficult as it was, to postpone the May edition, and hold out until barbers were back behind the chair. Therefore the July ‘comeback’ edition is here!

But we haven’t hidden under a rock…! Between our March edition and now, we decided to focus our efforts on keeping this industry updated and making sure that we continued to support you in the right way. EVOLive was born! And you can read all about it in this edition.

Our cover star is none other than Johnny Baba. We exclusively spoke with the King of Barber Barber about the ‘new normal’ and his thoughts on how the industry can bounce back.

We also speak with Keith Conniford, Registrar and CEO of The Hair and Barber Council, about the topic of mandatory state registration for barbers, and how this pandemic has perhaps brought this issue closer to home.

We talk to Natalie Cresswell about her bold decision to revamp her shop during lockdown, and how Booksy has been a godsend to her and will be pivotal for a successful return to business.

Globally renowned barber Robert Braid shares his lockdown stories and explains why Squire is going to make all the difference when he returns, and a host of leading barbers, stylists and colourists share their thoughts on how to fix those pesky DIY home haircuts.

While a safe reopening is of the utmost importance, it is just as important to look after ourselves too, in both body and mind, so we have put together advice on how to take care of your own mental and physical wellbeing too.

We’re also delving into retail – an important resource for barbershops keen to claw back some of that lost revenue – with advice from the shops and barbers who have used retail to their advantage, and who will be putting an even bigger emphasis on it in the coming months.

As we navigate through this new normal, we will continue to do all we can to support the barbering industry, and we want to personally wish each and every one of you the best of luck for your return to work.

Enjoy this new issue of BarberEVO. We can’t wait to hear all about everyone getting back behind the chair in the coming days and weeks!

Order your copy of issue 21 exclusively here.

EVO Rewind : Pope the Barber

ANYBODY THAT CLAIMS TO BE ‘JUST’ SOMETHING IS UNLIKELY TO BE SUCCESSFUL. IT STIFLES AMBITION AND SIGNALS AN ACCEPTANCE OF ‘THIS IS IT’. FOR YEARS, THERE WAS A CERTAIN STIGMA ATTACHED TO THE HAIR INDUSTRY AS A DESTINATION FOR THE LESS ACADEMICALLY INCLINED. POPE THE BARBER, HOWEVER, DOESN’T HAVE TIME FOR SELF-DEPRECIATION, NOR ANYBODY’S BULLSHIT.

Despite her moniker, she isn’t just a barber; Pope is a brand. She is also a businesswoman with big, big plans. Her feats are made more impressive as her life, she explains, was heading in a very different direction.

“I played basketball and I had a scholarship,” she explains, perched on the steps of her Santa Ana shop, Vatican Barbershop. “I played basketball in school and we travelled with the men’s team and all my friends would be cutting their own hair and it looked fun to me. I got good at it. I went to a predominantly black school and I was like the white girl that could cut – I mean I’m not even white – but it was fun. I didn’t think it was going to be a career for me, though.” 

Her dreams of playing in the WNBA, however, were crushed after a serious car crash left he unable to walk for a year. Such a period of revaluation was difficult for not only Pope – who at the time was at school for aeronautical engineering – but also her parents.

“I went to cosmetology school on crutches. It was the scariest thing telling my parents. You know, I’m not a mathematician; I would love to cut hair. I hear it all the time, but you know what? That’s what gives everybody drive. That’s the first person that says no. It’s the nature of the rebellious barber or stylist. That’s the triumph; that’s the payoff,” she smiles. 

And, judging by her extensive body art, Pope is well versed in acts of defiance. Buddhist imagery and symbolism wraps intricately around the majority of her body, so much so that if you asked her how many tattoos she has, she would probably answer just three. The second – etched on her ribcage and Pope’s first ever tattoo – reads ‘all I am I owe to my mother’. Try being angry with that, mother. The third is a dagger inked on her left cheek that is indicative of her approach to life. She’s all-in at all times and incorporates her passions into her individual brand.

“There really was no job title for what I wanted to do,” says Pope. “I wanted to travel, I wanted to do this and that. I wanted to do everything really. That’s what a brand is. You can have everything you like, do whatever the hell you want. I was barbering, hosting clubs and tattoo modeling and all that. I tried to marry the two. I started getting pretty popular in the nightlife and I wanted people to know me for barbering.”

Pope, eager to focus on building, put herself in a self-imposed creative exile. And what better place to do so than Notorious Barbershop? Not only is it fucking freezing, thus curtailing partying, the Montreal-based shop has incubated some of the industry’s most well-known brands and has quite the esteemed list of alumni.

“I learned so much from being there and around people like Famos, Chink, Thad and the Maison Privée boys. We all learned what we needed to learn and all opened shops. We all knew what we wanted to do: we wanted a home base and wanted to travel. We bounced ideas off each other and pushed each other to grow. We were all doing merch at the same time. Famos would come out with a hat, and I’d be like ‘I need to do a beanie!’” she explains.

Quebec’s largest city is known for attracting a smorgasbord of creative talents seeking its nurturing environment. From clothing designers to videographers, Pope and her Notorious peers could tap into the city’s tightknit creative community and collaborate to help grow their brands. 

“I wanted to translate that to out here – people just bettering each other. LA is a type of spot where there are just haters everywhere. I’m not one of those people and I don’t want to be around those people. I wanted to come here with a clean slate and build my own team of everyone: videographers, clothing designers, barbers. I took a lot from there. I met my wife there.” 

Despite her relatively young age, everything, from the outside at least, seems to be falling into place. Pope has a thriving female-fronted barbershop, a beautiful wife and travels doing what she loves. Pope’s success comes from her single-minded determination and bullish attitude that most successful people possess. It hasn’t been easy. It never is, and Pope certainly doesn’t mix her words when giving her two cents on overcoming adversity. 

“I grew up against every social norm. I’ve seen it all. Being a female wasn’t the hard part. I definitely noticed I was the only female in the barbershop, but now is the time for women. I’m for it; I’m for the movement. Most of my barbershop is female. We’re killing it right now. And for anybody that has had any struggles, I’m here. The most important thing I’ve learned in this lifetime is you’re not stuck anywhere you are.”

She carries that defiant attitude into her education, preaching sermons on self-belief and achieving your goals. Nobody is ‘just’ anything to her. Technically, her classes focus on diversifying ability – teaching barbers scissor work with Hattori Hanzo Shears, for one – to provide people with the skills that will underpin their brand. 

“I love teaching. I teach to light a fire under people’s asses. I do like the technical work but in the end I want people to leave feeling inspired, whether it’s taking a piece of the way I cut and implementing it into their way of cutting or just something from my story. I’ve been poor, homeless, wealthy, poor again, wealthy and it’s all from making big jumps. A lot of failures, a lot of success, you know?

“I’ve been working with Hanzo for a few years now as an educator and they’re an awesome company. They’ve sent me to almost every state in the US and I’ve honestly met the most amazing people along the way. They let me be the hippie that I am and speak from the soul about hair and life in places I’d never think of flying. It’s easy to work with a company whose product I really believe in.”

Never one to sacrifice who she is for her career, Pope has built successful relationships with brands by choosing ones that really embody what she wants to do with her brand as a business owner. Recently, she has become an ambassador for Squire, who she says really focus on the wellbeing of your overall business.

“On a product level, they’ve trumped the previous system I used ten fold and have made it really easy for me to run my business from anywhere in the world with no worries. I was running an all-cash business before, as most barbershops do, and I was able to seamlessly upgrade my whole system in a matter of days. It’s easy. I like their vision, they understand mine, and we can grow together.”

Growth is something that Pope does not shy away from – in fact she is currently in the process of relocating and expanding her barbershop. How then, does she ensure a good work-life balance – something a lot of barbers struggle with?

“I work hard, rest harder! This year has been a major practice of true balance in my life. I’m at a point where I can step away from the shop for a bit and put my personal life and routines first and then build my work schedule around that. For you barbers and new business owners, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise! I’m able to practice working smarter, not harder, so when I do go out and teach or do events or whatever I have planned, I’m able to give 1000% without burning out. I travel mostly and cut in the shop a few times a month, but mostly I just focus on living a happy and healthy life.”

Pope knows the transient nature of success, but now has a firm grip on her future and knows the value of a good work-life balance. As she said, she wants to build an empire for herself and Joannie, and I certainly wouldn’t bet against her. 

EVOLive with BUZZ

We were joined on Wednesday 24th June by some of the brains behind the exciting new networking app for barbers, the Buzz Network.

Ollie Nobbs, Luka Chitty, Vikki Harrison-Smith and Dan Davies kindly joined us an the full discussion can be viewed below!

EVOLive with David Raccuglia

We were joined on Wednesday 17th June exclusively on EVOLive by inspirational barber, hairstylist, photographer and founder of American Crew, David Raccuglia.

It was a truly inspirational discussion, well worth the watch!

You can view the entire EVOLive episode below. Enjoy!

EVO Rewind : Bostonian Barber Shop

As featured in issue 2 of BarberEVO North America – June 2018.

Bostonian Barbershop has become an institution and cornerstone of community in its local neighbourhood. CEO Erik Zaiatz discusses opening a barbershop that would have made his grandfather proud. 

“My grandfather was a barber for over sixty years and had cut four generations of some families. I remember what it was like hanging out there when I was younger, seeing him interact with his customers, hearing the stories and even noticing the smells, the aftershave, the talc… I just love being there and there wasn’t really anything like that around here” says Erik.

After ten years in the making, the first Bostonian Barbershop opened in the summer of 2014 and was a family affair. Erik convinced his sister, a hairdresser, to return to barber school and with now manager Matt Penardi on-board, he opened shop in an old Bostonian shoe factory forty-five minutes south of Boston. With the help of his father and uncle, Erik renovated the space and quickly made quite an impression on the local community.

“We made a big splash when we opened the shop” he admits. “With our barbers, it’s all about attention to detail. They take their time whether it is a haircut, shave or beard trim. If you are trying out a new style, they are going to take their time and make sure you leave happy. We were one of the only shops doing hot towel, hot lather, straight razor shaves for some reason.”

Gentlemen would frequent the shop for decidedly gentlemanly cuts. At the time, local shops were churning out regular fades and line-ups but Bostonian offered the expertly coiffed pompadours and hard parts that were a swooping trend at the time. Each were set in place with a dollop of Bondafide Pomade, who have endorsed the shop since 2014. The barbers loved the products and both Erik and Lewis had a surprising amount in common from an early age.

He explains the meticulous attention to detail which led to patrons driving an hour in each direction for a cut and waiting times grew from a palatable thirty minutes to two to three hours. A few more stations were added to alleviate the waiting times but Erik quickly realised expansion was needed to another city. He had noticed the Fenway neighbourhood was lacking in barbershops and opened a larger store in the image of his first two years ago.

Still flooded with clients, Bostonian’s Whitman shop was recently relocated half a mile down the road to a 3000 sq ft space. It also allowed Erik a much larger workshop out back for the barber chair restoration, chair building and wood working he does for the shop. Bostonian’s CEO lost count after his first thirty barber chairs but his collection is quite considerable. The new space that tends to over one-hundred gents a day is simply stunning.

“The interiors of our shops are new world meets industrial” he says. “All the chairs are from the same company and are like one-hundred years old, 1906/1910. A lot of the décor is from that time too. We have hard floors, exposed pipes and brick walls. I love collecting antiques and we display them up in the shop. A lot of the décor is my grandfather’s. I have a lot of his old straight razors, dusters and hand clippers from his time barbering.”

Community has been a cornerstone of the brand since their inception. Despite expansion, waiting times at the shop can be as long as two to three hours on some days, four for particular barbers. The shops are not understaffed; they are just hugely popular. Bostonian operates a queue check system that gives an estimated time and locals can put their name down, go home and jump right back in. Erik explains the shop’s loyal patrons do not mind the wait.

“I think is cool to get your haircut at Bostonian,” he says, conscious to not sound arrogant. “A lot of people wear it as a badge of honour, they seem proud to wait. I mean, nobody wants to spend three hours waiting but this is their shop and these guys are their barbers and they wait because they will get a perfect haircut every time. We do a lot for the community, we sponsor kid’s sports team, donate to different charities. We have a great relationship with the community, we love them as much as they love us. It’s great!” he smiles.

Boston may be small but it is certainly not lacking in sports teams. The Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots all call the city home. New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium is just twenty-five minutes from the Whitman store but due to Boston’s infamously bad traffic, most players live in Rhode Island. A few do live in the city and visit the Fenway shop. Recently retired linebacker Jerod Mayo is one of the more well-known players who comes in twice a week for his work as a pundit.

“We have a few hockey players that come in when they are in the area. Fenway Park, where the Redsox play, is only a stepping distance away. A foul ball could probably hit our door. We have cut a bunch of them, they all live in the neighbourhood and play a lot of home games. A few of the more well known players, Steven Wright and Craig Kimbrel, we cut in the clubhouse. We cut a lot of the away team players too in between practice and warming up.”

Erik plans to use the impressive size of the new, old shop to bring the East Coast barbering community together. The West Coast is renowned for its barbering link ups but Erik say it’s not as prominent on his side of the country. He plans to extend the Bostonian’s idea of community and host regular barber socials for up to two hundred professionals and barbering students to share ideas. “We have space, we can accommodate, so we want to bring that together,” he finishes.

EVOLive with Booksy

We were joined today on EVOLive #25 by Booksy CEO Stefan Batory and by VIP Ambassador Program Lead Adrian Ward, to discuss the ongoing global situation facing barbers as they either re-open or plan to do so.

We were also joined by global educators Mark Gaye and Keino Valley – who kindly updated us on their own situations and plans for the future.

Don’t worry if you missed it – watch it in full below!

Barber Connect announces 2021 dates

Europe’s largest barber exhibition will return in 2021, with the organisers behind Barber Connect announcing the dates for the 2021 show today.

Returning to the International Centre in Telford, Barber Connect 2021 will take place on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th of June 2021.

Whilst the event will be sorely missed in 2020, all at BarberEVO fully support the decision to postpone until next year, and can’t wait to attend, participate, exhibit and more… the comeback is always stronger than the setback!

For more details please visit: http://barberconnect.co.uk

Which states have barbershops re-opened in?

With over 80,000 reported fatalities as a result of Covid-19, America has been hit hard by the pandemic. Each one of the 50 states have adopted their own phased plans to re-open various parts of their economies, with barbershops open now for several weeks in some states, and barbershops in other states still several weeks away from being allowed to reopen.

Check out our mini-update below.

States in which barbershops have re-opened:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California (most of the state)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • DC
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York (except New York City)
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States in which barbershops have not re-opened:

  • Hawaii
  • Michigan (re-openings allowed on June 15th)
  • New Jersey (re-openings allowed on June 22nd)

Squire Technologies raise $34 Million in series B funding

Barbershop management and point of sale system software company, Squire Technologies, have raised the substantial sum of money as part of a series B round of funding.

Series B funding is a round designed to taking a business to the next level, beyond the development stage. With this latest round of funding, the firm has now raised over $46.2 million to date.

CEO and co-founder Songe LaRon commented, “Small businesses are hurting right now. Fortunately, barbershops are well-positioned to thrive in an economic downturn since people will always need haircuts.”

Company President and co-founder Dave Salvant added, “Our goal has always been to put our customers first and be a resource in times of need.”

The company have also launched a new website designed to help barbers in North America and in the UK. Visit : https://www.helpbarbershops.com for more information.