Louis Mclean IG:@Barberlouisuk Barbershop: The Golden Scissors, Dorking, Surrey www.goldenscissors.co.uk
Just over three years ago when i was still at school we had to organise our work experience placements. I had always enjoyed my visits to the Golden Scissors barbershop for my own haircut. There had always been a great atmosphere in the shop with non stop laughs and fun banter.
I asked Tony Copeland the boss if he would allow me to visit his shop for a week to gain experience of what working in the barbershop was like. Thankfully he accepted.
On my first day i was expecting to sit about watching and maybe sweep up occasionally but working with such an amazing team i wasn’t really surprised to be thrown in the deep end practising shampoo’s and head massaging techniques.
By the end of the week i had even done a full crop using very basic skills and over watched by Tony. That week confirmed that this was going to be my future career.
Last year i was talking with Tony who said he could help with my college application as he was previously the barbering lecturer at Central Sussex College where i was planing to attend.
I was soon signed up and ready to get going. I think because i showed so much enthusiasm for the trade Tony offered me an apprenticeship at his shop and I’m so pleased he did.
The Golden Scissors team are all very passionate about the industry and have lots of experience with education, photo shoots, barbering shows and live demonstrations so i was clearly in the best place to learn.
In less than a year I’ve learnt life skills, many cutting & shaving skills and to top it off I’ve met some of the UK’s greatest inspirational barbers like Sid Sottung, Mike Taylor and MK who have all given me amazing tips and great career advice.
I’m fully qualified now and really proud of where i am and what I’ve achieved but still know I’ve got a way to go. As so many people have said to me you never stop learning.
I have Just completed my first photo shoot with help from my friends who volunteered to be my models and the Golden Scissors team with support, guidance and the photography its Part of the trade i’d never thought about but really enjoyed every minute.
Although its through the college that I got qualified and received my paperwork, i really see the importance of
shop experience. It has filled all the gaps that unfortunately cant be achieved in a college setting, like real consultations, working with the disabled and how to conduct myself around celebrity clients.
Working in a really busy barbershop has given me the best start to my career and I’m so thankful to everyone that has taken the time and helped push me in the right direction.
Im not sure yet what the future has planed for me as I’ve done more in the last couple of years then i could ever have imagined but every day I’m building my industry profile as well as a decent client base. I know I’ve made the right choice of career and would suggest to anyone in my position make sure you get qualified, find the best shop you can to gain the right experience. Im now a proud member of the British Master Barbers Alliance and completely understand what this movement is about. Joining a network of like minded individuals that like to help support each other in ways of profile building, promotions, business advice and more....
I would insist anybody with an interest in the Professional side of barbering should join.