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MEET THE BARBER 14 – PAPPAS

Pappas_Utrecht

ABOUT PAPPAS UTRECHT

My name is Erwin van de water. Born in 1971 and I have been a barber since 1988. I opened my first shop in 1992 and my second in 1995 together with a partner. After a while I decided I needed a change and sold my shares. That’s when I started Pappas ten years ago.

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CONTACT DETAILS PAPPAS:
VOORSTRAAT 106
3512 AV UTRECHT
THE NETHERLANDS
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WHAT GOT YOU INTO BARBERING?

Poverty. Seriously. I come from a family of construction workers. Carpenter. Painters. That type of work is nothing for me. So, I started helping out a friend of my sister who owned a hairdressers ‘salon. I especially liked working with clippers. I decided to go to barber school and that’s how it all started.

WHAT DOES THE PROFESSION OF BARBERING MEAN TO YOU? AND WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE YOU WANT TO OFFER YOUR CLIENTS?

For a long time I did not enjoy it at all. Because it became routine work and it was all about helping as much customers as possible in as little time as possible. When I sold my shops I knew I wanted to do it differently. That’s why I am here alone. I like the relaxed vibe in here. The old-fashioned style of barbering, using clippers, is one of the hardest things to do. I love it. I can’t explain it. I guess that’s the passion I have for it. At the end I want my clients to leave my shop satisfied. With a haircut that fits their personality. Regardless of the type of haircut. And with the feeling that I sincerely took the time to service them.

HOW DID THE PROFESSION CHANGE OVER THE YEARS IN YOUR OPINION? AND HOW DO YOU SEE ITS FUTURE?

I’ve always had this fascination. The same as my fascination for vintage and denim. Off course, there has been an explosion in male barbershops. I however, have always had more male clients than women. I’m a barber. Not a hair stylist. For all the fancy stuff, you’re not at the right address.

IS THERE STILL A PLACE FOR SUCH AN ARTISAN PROFESSION IN TIME WHERE EVERYONE IS CONCERNED ABOUT SPEED AND LOW COST?

I think there is a big movement. Men are taking time for these types of things. A beard trim might take up to half an hour here. A shave even 40 minutes. I notice that men enjoy that.

WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING, STRANGE OR MOVING CLIENT YOU HAVE HAD SO FAR?

That was about half a year ago. I had a regular customer who had a habit of coming late or forgetting about his appointment. The last time I sent him a message to ask him if he again forgot about his appointment. I heard nothing from here. Which was a bit strange, since it was a regular customer. A couple hours later his brother called me. “Haven’t you heard yet?” , he asked me. “He committed suicide yesterday.” I’ll never forget that moment.

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