Hey there Sport Clipsters! It’s “Whit the Wannabe Stylist” and today’s topic is “Changing Perceptions”
This year for the first time ever, our team participated in the barbering show, Barbercon in Maspeth, NY. To be totally honest, we were all pretty nervous going in due to the fact that only one of our Artistic Team Members is a barber. One of the sad truths about this industry, in which you are probably already aware, is that there is a rivalry of sorts between barbers and cosmetologists within the community. To help me (the Wannabe Stylist) understand why, I asked Artistic Team Member and 2018 Best Barber of San Diego winner, Frankie Delgado for her insight.
“Barbers tend to be a close-minded community. I think barbers have a lack of understanding of what cosmetologists do. They do not realize that we are trained the same way and that we have the same knowledge, capability and passion for our craft.” Frankie, who is a graduate of The Real Barber College in Anaheim California is very passionate about bridging the gap between barbers and cosmetologists. She took the stage, along with fellow Artistic Team Members; Erin Smith, Krystle Sierras, and creative consultant Julian Perlingiero to educate Barbercon attendees on why Sport Clips is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Addressing the crowd of industry professionals, Frankie and team reminded all in attendance how important it is to show love and respect in the community, “It doesn’t matter if you are a barber or a cosmo… we have to support one another.”
Coach, Nick Tatrouns-Bliss from the Northeast, was also in attendance at the event and says, “The relationship between the two communities has always seemed delicate. We took that into consideration when we attended Barbercon. I think Sport Clips presence at the event was a great way to show the barbering community that we are here.” In Nick’s opinion the attendees’ response to us was “50/50, some gave us the side eye, and some were genuinely interested in learning who we are.” Lee Resnick of BarberShopConnect.com and the driving force behind the Barbercon event, said he had no idea of all the benefits Sport Clips had to offer… so our team was there to change that.
The next day, in a classroom setting, our team educated their audience not only in Men’s grooming tips but also about Sport Clips culture and opportunities. California Coach, Ramona Gomez was in the audience and said, “I knew that teaching more techniques on scissor work instead of clipper cuts would get the most attention.” She goes on to say that the barbers in attendance were very appreciative for the knowledge they gained while in class. Ramona’s California market benefitted greatly from the event, boasting 1 hire and a new relationship with a school in her area. What a win!!
So… now that I have told you how everyone else felt about the event, you may be wondering, “What is your opinion on Barbercon Whit the Wannabe?” and here is my answer… I was so proud of our Team. We got out there! We worked hard, represented well, and we spread our love for Sport Clips. We stood on stage and drove home the message that we must respect one another and build each other up. This industry, while beautiful and full of opportunity, can be brutal. Watching our team get up in the face of “nay-sayers”, showing no fear, and rising above adversity with grace and class was something incredible to witness. I could not have been more proud of how we represented our company. And I think if you could’ve been there, you would’ve said the same.
Barbercon sparked a passion in me, it inspired me to want to spread the love to everyone within this industry. Erase the lines that separate barbers and cosmetologists, learn from one another, encourage growth, and always continue learning. Let’s root for each other’s success instead of tearing others down to get ahead. We’ve got to lift one another up not just in the industry but in our everyday life… especially in this time of hate in the world. And YOU GUYS, the stylists, have such a great power in your hands. YOU GUYS can be the head of this movement… you, through touch, art, and creating beauty can be the cultivators of kindness. I’m envious of your skill and I hope you realize the power you have to spread the love. Be a light to your clients, a supporter of your peers, and be an example to those you encounter. You never know how showing compassion and love can change the world. So now I ask you, how will you spread the love today?