Jan Willem Huffmeijer is barber at De Heere van Thijssen barberhsop and owner of the b4men blog. De Heere van Thijssen is a barbershop that has a long history and a deep connection with the locals. The place is always been home to hairdressers. The current revival of the barbering profession meant a transformation of this place to a barbershop dedicated to providing men with the perfect environment to escape the daily hassle.
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contact details De Heere van Thijssen:
What motivated you to become a barber? What was the defining moment that inspired you to choose that path?
Getting into barbering took a long time and was a long and slow process in my case. I first started at the hairdresser’s salon of my uncle in Amsterdam. I got interested in this profession and decided to go to hairdresser school. There I got in touch with all kind of hairdressing and found out that I am more interested in becoming a gents hairdresser. Thus after school I went to work at a gentlemen’s hairdresser. There I spent 12 years during which I further fine tuned my skills. Nowadays I work in Lisse. The original owner of this shop was getting old and decided to quit. Together with his successor we gave the shop a new life and turned it into a barbershop.
What does the profession of barbering mean to you? And what is the experience you want to offer your clients?
What the barbering profession means to me is difficult to explain. It is a profession that runs through my veins. I breath it. This is what I am really passionate about and enjoy doing. This is essential because I believe my clients have to get the best treatment they could have got. I believe that this satisfaction can be achieved only if a barber is really passionate about what he is doing. And the clients feel that.
What kind of people do you attract to your barbershop? What do they look for?
The barbershop in Lisse has a long history. This place is been home to hairdressers for more than 100 years which makes this place very recognizable among the locals. It has become an inseparable part of the village. Because of this significance in the village we manage to attract a very diverse range of clients: young and old, with modern and classic style. The passion and attention to detail is also an important factor that attracts many clients. Our barbers are aware of the fact that they have a serving profession. Meaning that we are here for the client and not the other way around.
How did the profession change over the years in your opinion? And how do you see its future?
The barbering profession has changed a lot. It is one of the oldest professions in the world and it should evolve as time changes. There was a period in which the unisex salon took over the barbershop and the barbering profession had a period of decline. Nowadays the profession is booming again. The profession changed in the sense that we use better tools in order to offer services at a higher quality. The essence of our profession however has not changed much. A scissor is still a scissor and a razor is still a razor. The modern developed world and the information age brought the barber community closer together. We can learn from one another and push the profession forward.
Is there still a place for such an artisan profession in time where everyone is concerned about speed and low cost?
The barbering profession has a place in the heart of those men that enjoy slowing down, relaxing and talking about men stuff. In the modern time everybody seems to be rushing. The need for a place where men can escape the rushed daily routine is there and it is this that puts our profession back on the map again. Well, what is better than a traditional wet shave while listening to jazz and blues?
Who is the most interesting, strange or moving client you have had so far?
To me every client is unique and inspiring. Those who value my passion for the barbering profession are truly special to me.