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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.

EVO Rewind : Maddisons

WHEN TALITHA MADDISON GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY, SHE KNEW HER LIFE WASN’T GOING TO BE BEHIND A DESK. FIVE YEAR’S LATER, IN JUNE OF 2019, SHE OPENED MADDISON’S BARBERS IN HER HOMETOWN OF REIGATE.

“I’ve always found hair and fashion really interesting creatively,” explains Talitha. “But only men’s hair and only men’s fashion if I’m honest. Even now, my wardrobe is just a bunch of men’s clothes dressed up with my make up!”

                  Talitha started her barbering career back in 2014, but had been out of the industry for over a year before opening Maddison’s Barbers: “I burnt myself out. I completely fell out of love with it and my tattoo studio businesses were taking off so I threw myself into those.”

                  In early 2019 though, Talitha started to get excited by the work on other barber’s Instagram pages and she began to feel that same joy she felt when she first got into barbering. Luckily for her, she regularly has agents calling her up when new shops become available and when one cropped up where she lives, she felt she had room to express herself in the men’s hair world and couldn’t turn the opportunity down.

                  The shop is family run – given that it is her family name above the door, everyone gets to feel involved, even Talitha’s 4-year-old nephew, who carries a business card around with him because he knows the shop has his name on it. There are currently three chairs in the shop and keeps the services offered fairly simple.

                  “I wanted to keep the price list short and sweet, so there’s only one type of haircut that covers everything, one type of beard trim and then we have a ‘Face Works’ service which is a hot towel treatment with a face mask and a quick eyebrow wax. We use Triumph and Disaster skin care range for this service which are great.”

                  When it came to designing the shop, Talitha took a lot of inspiration from shops she had seen in California, Australia, Japan and Dubai: “I wanted a light, stripped-back, minimal but masculine look. Clean lines, and a rigid colour palette of white, black, grey and light blue. I was very strict on this one; it needed to have an adult vibe but still chill. We had stuff delivered and sent back so many times, it all had to fit. I’m obsessed with neon signs, I think they add so much to a bare interior.”

                  The look is part of the shop’s charm, and it definitely stands out on the high street, with its white walls and neon sign. It certainly doesn’t look like anything else on the high street and you can’t help but notice its slick style. More important than the look though is the sense of community that Talitha hopes to create at Maddison’s.

                  “I’m really trying to encourage the guys that come in to communicate with each other. I do the same at the tattoo studios, I like for people to engage,” explains Talitha. “With the younger, more shy guys that come in, it’s really important to push them to talk to someone who might be in at the same time or to me, it’s about social skills. I’ve only been open for a few weeks but already a few young men have come in and talked about their mental health, which is great. I hope they feel like it’s a space to do so. I don’t know what it is about being a barber – everyone tells me everything!”

                  Talitha’s welcoming attitude and openness has led her to not only run three successful businesses, but also to become an ambassador for New Zealand-based skin and hair care brand, Triumph & Disaster: “They approached me in 2016. I used the products on my face after the meeting at Thy Barber and was sold straight away on the ethos and the quality of the products. I really respect Dion Nash, the owner, and Phil, who runs the UK side of things, he helps me out a lot.”

                  Asked which product from the range was her favourite, she said it is hands down the Rock and Roll Suicide Scrub.

                  “It’s insane. Dion says I’m only supposed to use it once a week but I use it way more than that – I’m always asking them to send me some more! My boyfriend is always nicely stocked up on the hair products and he loves the moisturiser.”

                   Looking to the future, Talitha still has a lot of hopes, some as simple as get a dog, others more challenging, like buying a house or watching Arsenal have a decent season whilst cutting hair in the new shop… more importantly, she’s ready to relax – three businesses in three years; it’s no wonder she’s exhausted.

DISRUPTOUR DETOUR

Over the weekend, the team from Wahl Professional’s DISRUPTOUR 2020 combined to deliver an Instagram video update following the postponement of many of the key dates of the tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Household names like Trevor Moots, Nieves Almaraz, John Carmona, Lisa Finucane, Kevin Nguyen and of course Byrd Mena teamed up (remotely!) to advise that DISRUPTOUR 2020 would be detoured – and ready to come back in full in 2021.

Watch the video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBGrxk6HdK4/

Stay tuned on the 2021 details of Disruptour here: https://www.disruptour.com

Squire commit $20,000 to the fight against injustice

Dave Salvant and Songe LaRon, co-owners of Squire Technologies, the all-in-one platform powering barbershop operations, have committed $20,000 to the fight against injustice.

In an announcement made on the 3rd of June via Squire’s social channels, the co-owners made clear their stance on the events of the past several weeks in America. “What we stand for is clear: Black Lives Matter.”

Squire will work to be part of the solution, and will donate the generous sum equally amongst four organisations: Equal Justice Initiative, Black Lives Matter, Detroit Justice Center and Campaign Zero.

We at BarberEVO applaud this stance and wish to state our own support for justice, equality and societal change as we collectively seek to stamp out all forms of racism, bigotry and injustice.

EVO Rewind : DERT

DERT PRESENTS HIGH TEXTURE

INSPIRED BY LOOKS AND STYLES FROM CLASSIC LITERATURE, MEN’S GROOMING PIONEER DAVID RACCUGLIA HAS CREATED A FRESH NEW BARBERING TREND RELEASE CALLED HIGH TEXTURE. JOINING FORCES WITH PAUL WILSON AND THE TEAM FROM ART + SCIENCE SALON, DAVID’S NEW TREND RELEASE CELEBRATES OLD SCHOOL TECHNIQUES.

The campaign was commissioned by DERT, a new socially conscious book brand, calling on the barber industry to join in promoting the cause of children’s literacy. DERT is launching a new initiative that provides storybooks to barbershops in under-resourced black communities.

HIGH TEXTURE is inspired by the great 19th century dandy authors like Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman with their existential outlook and witty quips. A grand sense of Victorian adventure and Gothic horror is in the spirit of High Texture’s styling, reflecting writings of classic 19th-century literature greats like Robert Louis Stevenson, author of many classics including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Treasure Island

These influences collide with the great African American writing tradition of black writers like James Baldwin and Paul Laurence Dunbar with their call-to-arms for social change by wielding the power of the written prose and poetry. These eccentric literary inspirations are infused with a musical jolt, fueled by the soulful energy of Funk musicians like James Brown, and the impeccable glamour of Little Richard – where pure raw substance and emotion is expressed with a flashy layered personal style. High Texture compresses and fast-forwards it all to the 21st-century man.

DERT commissioned David Raccuglia to photograph 10 top American models in a range of hair expressions and fashion looks as part of a social campaign for the barber industry. High Texture promotes the cause of children’s literacy by debuting the social enterprise DERT to the barber industry. DERT is on a mission to encourage reading and learning by inspiring barbers to be literacy advocates and activating barbershops into reading friendly spaces.

“David and I are often focused on relevant trends when we create collections. What had us excited about this project is the fact that through design it would transcend trend,” says Paul Wilson, Global Artistic Director of American Crew and co-owner of Art & Science. “Art + Science salon is packed with incredible talent, so I brought one of our best master barbers, Anthony Johnson, as well Alice Salazar, our most diverse and skilled stylist. The highly textural shapes are architectural and sculptural and span all eras. We have never had so much fun on a project.”

“The barbershop has always been a space for men to gather and share stories in their journey to improve themselves,” adds David Raccuglia. “Expressing one’s style is a unique form of story-telling and barbers have the power to deepen the lives of their customers by being a catalyst to personal transformation. Like movies, sports and music, stories and characters from literature provide a universal experience that can help us dig deeper, and guide us towards being our best.”

DERT’s mission is to cultivate better lives and a stronger community through reading, stories, and the transformative power of books. DERT seeks to bring books to barbershops and salons worldwide, inspiring industry professionals to be literacy advocates that encourage their customers to best transform themselves on the inside and out. 

With each purchase, DERT donates a portion of its profits towards the donation of their children’s storybooks to literacy programs in barbershops. DERT’s social mission is to ensure that all children identify as readers ­by having access to books and being read to on a regular basis. Reading together is vital for all children through their preschool years and beyond. DERT publishes a unique line of books and learning tools designed to engage families in reading through all stages of life. 

Two brothers, an Olympia book curator, Ernesto Chavez, and a Brooklyn graphic designer, Marcos Chavez, founded DERT. Inspired to brand a new bookselling model by a symbol of nature (dirt) and the ethos of technical arts (design), the Chavez brothers formulated the concept of deep enhancement of reader technology known as D-E-R-T.

Learn more about the foundation and find out how to get involved by visiting dertbook.com.

EVOLive: UK Barbering Industry Roundtable

We sat down on Monday 1st of June with representatives from the Hair and Barber Council, NHBF, VTCT, MHFed, British Master Barbers, British Barber Association, Habia and City & Guilds, to discuss the issue of state registration for barbering in the UK.

Don’t worry if you missed it. You can watch the full discussion below!

EVOLive : Matty Conrad

We were delighted to be joined on Friday 29th May on EVOLive by global educator, multiple barbershop owner and brand creator Matty Conrad.

We discussed Matty’s career path, his pleasure in delivering education around the globe and the trials and tribulations of creating your own products.

If you missed it, don’t worry… watch below!

EVO Rewind: Donnie Hawley Interview

Classic cars, thumping rhythms, the girls and of course the hair. Each were integral to the nineties rockabilly scene that birthed one of the industry’s most well known products, Layrite. The brand’s enigmatic owner, much like the brand itself, oozes Californian charm.

The barbershop, for many gents, is a rite of passage and a first glimpse into
manhood. “l thought it was really special, you know,” says Donnie Hawley from behind his rose-tinted shades “Back then they had the Playboys in the drawer and l would see the older guys pull them out, and, you know, the old coke machines, I’d throw a dime in , pull the bottle and pop the top and kind of feel like a big boy when I was young.”

Donnie would have his first cutting experience at age thirteen, etching Mohawks for his cousin’s football team before the charmingly dubbed “hell week.” He went to train as a barber after being hurt in a factory incident but later dropped out to make some money. While in Barber College, however, he heard of a guy called “Bricks that was in the same school in a different city.

I heard about this guy who had Elvis tattooed on his whole back and I wanted to meet this guy because he was into rockabilly and I thought I was the only rockabilly cat around. He was going to Rosston in Anaheim, I was in Long Beach and I ended up meeting him at the Palomino, this honky-tonk club in North Hollywood and I met him and told him I wanted to be a barber too and I’m real good. The rockabilly scene was so small at the time and he was like, I’m already opening a shop’ and totally
discouraged me.

Donnie, however, saw that the craft of barbering was dying out and knew he had to act. Much like in the UK, everything was unisex and the classic styles were in danger of being lost in the annals of history

“You’d drive around and barbering was vanishing. We’d see old guys sitting in the barber chairs by themselves reading the newspaper and something just clicked. I’ve got to save it man. I’ve got to do my part. I need to be the guy, the voice, the person that brings barbering back”.

To do so, he returned to school to get his barbering license and opened Hawleywood’s Barber Shop in 1999. Keen to buck the unisex trend, Donnie created a male-only space that Al Capone would have been at home in. Rich woods, cream walls. Of course, there was no social media at the time so Donnie returned to his beloved seen to get the word out.

I had to set up at shows to get myself out there and my first card and combs had my pager number on them, and I’d hand the combs out at shows, rockabilly, punk rock shows and people would start paging me at tattoo shops and there would be like twenty guys there. I started cutting hair in the back of Bert Grimm’s Shop at the Pike in Long Beach, the oldest tattoo shop in the United States. I was in car clubs so I’d cut their hair. I was cutting hair in the back of Classic Tattoo with Eric Maaske and he was a traditional tattooist who had a lot of famous guys come through his shop. Guys in Rancid, Social Distortion and Stray Cats, so I got to cut a lot of those guys hair and started making a name for myself.

All these experiences are key to understanding the Layrite brand. The product, much like Donnie’s barbering career came from necessity, only this time he needed the right product to style the slick backs and flat tops with fenders he was looking to save.

Layrite started because I was messing around making my own pomades, coming out of the rockabilly greaser scene. I had really curly hair, super curly hair, so I couldn’t find anything that I could get that big pomp with that would wash out. The stuff we had available was Butch Wax and petroleum-based products. It seemed like it would never wash out. If you didn’t style your hair right the first go around you weren’t able to wash it out and start over, you know what I mean?

Unfortunately, his first concoction wasn’t as practical as it was authentic. Not only were classic cars part of the scene but quite literally a part of his solution. When changing the rear main seal on an old Packard, Donnie thought the oil residue that may well have been there for thirty/forty years – had the consistency of a potential product.

I grabbed a mason jar and scooped as much as I could into it with some Vaseline and some Old Spice and some other things and rocked up to the show with it in. It worked but the only problem was my friends and I thought we were so cool because we were wearing grease that was actually from a car, but the girls were like, ‘dude you guys smell way too much like a garage. Way too much. It’s cool you’re greasers but you smell’. That was my first go at messing with pomade because of my curly hair.

Unperturbed, Donnie went back to the drawing board and continued his ad hoc approach to achieving the slick styles of the times. He eventually found the perfect mixture, that would later be christened by one, a similarly curly-haired client.

I started mixing ingredients that I thought would work and wash out. And I had a customer with similar hair to mine and I would have to use hairspray, round brush roll the curl out and I would put my own product in his hair and he was like, ‘man you’re the only person in my whole life that’s been able to get my hair to lay right.

The year was 1999, a good few years before social media came along. Layrite quickly gained a loyal following and people would drive for hours to pick up the product from the shop; at this point Donnie wasn’t shipping it. He was, however, pedaling the wildly popular at festivals and shows within the scene.

“You know, I started putting it in my own cans and taking it to shows, backpacking it in, sneaking it through with my band friends so they could get it backstage and throw it to the crowd. I would set up in coat closets, I would go to music festivals and set up at punk rock shows, rockabilly events. I would be asked by musicians to style their hair before they went on stage at shows. I brought my products along everywhere I went and gave it away. I started making my own shirts and gave those away”

Other than his tireless self-promotion, Donnie attributes the product’s success to just one simple attribute: it works. He had found a problem through experience and created a solution. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the Layrite founder explains that many have tried and failed.

“I just had to make sure it performed. All these years later, there have been a lot of people that love Layrite and they take it and they try to copy it and they’re not even barbers. They’re four booths down at a show that I’ve been doing for fifteen years or more, and it looks like my product – same bottles, same packaging and it doesn’t work. It’s not made to perform because it was not made by a person that knows hair, knows barbering, knows products, knows what works and what doesn’t.”

He continues to reflect on the manner in which he stumbled across the best-selling formula “It took a long time. I accidently made Layrite. The ingredients in it allow you to wear it and wash it out. It was out of necessity because my friends would come in and they had grease in their hair. I’m not going to name names, but petroleum based products were all we had and I couldn’t get my clippers through it. I wanted to do the best haircut possible and it was preventing me from doing that. I remember when the right mix came around and I was able to wash it out, cut through the haircut perfectly and put the pomade back in. I never dreamed Layrite would be what it is.”

Donnie is now a bona-fide star in the barbering community. He’s travelled the world with both his brands – Layrite and Hawleywood’s Barber Shop, opened a shop in Australia and even had a film made about him. All this work, however, has been underpinned by a genuine love of the craft and wanting to preserve the art for future generations.

“It’s all traditional. I don’t use the word fade. It’s three outlines; everything is shaved with a razor. It’s very important for me to keep this trade of real barbering and to distinguish the difference between a barber and a stylist, because there is a difference. I feel blessed to have inspired so many. It’s been a wild ride, man.”