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MEET THE BARBER 1 – NEW YORK BARBERSHOP

New york barbershop

ABOUT NEW YORK BARBERSHOP

New York Barbershop is a fourth generation barbershop in Rotterdam. At the moment, the shop is run by Robert and his team. Robert is the great grand sun of the founder who started the barbershop 128 years ago. New York Barbershop is unique and offers men the perfect environment where they can slow down and take a moment for themselves.

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contact details new york barbershop:
Koninginnenhoofd 1 (in Hotel New York)
3072 AD Rotterdam
The Netherlands
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Why did you decide to become a barber?

Barbering is in my blood. This barbershop exists for 128 years now and I am a fourth generation barber. Having said that, this does not mean that it was obvious that I would become a barber too like my father and grandfather. I got in touch with the craft of barbering at an early age and what attracted me is the combination of the social aspect and the creativity involved.

[aside position=”absolute”] The majority of men converted shaving into an insignificant routine that is squeezed between washing their hair and brushing their teeth. That doesn’t work.
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Can you describe the feeling you want to give your clients?

The experience. Taking a step back in time and slowing down. Being able to be a man in the company of other men while we offer our excellent grooming services. The feeling you get when entering the shop, the feeling you have during the treatments and the feeling you have when leaving the shop should be coherent with each other and that is what I am putting effort in.

We live in a time where everything is about speed. Do you think that there is still room for craftsmanship in general and for barbering in particular?

Quite the contrary. I think because of the rushed time we are living in, men are happy to have such a place where they can slow down. Most of my clients enjoy the waiting for their shave or haircut as much as they enjoy the treatment itself. I have a guestbook here, and the majority of the clients write about the tranquil and relaxing atmosphere in the shop. That is exactly what we want. Even if the shop is crowded, even if there are twenty customers waiting, it is our job as barbers to stay relaxed and project that feeling onto the customers. I think shaving is about slowing down and not about rushing. I try and explain my customers that once in a while they should slow down at home too. Choose a day to be with yourself, shut the door of the bathroom, stand in front of the mirror and take your time shaving. The majority of men converted shaving into an insignificant routine that is squeezed between washing their hair and brushing their teeth. That doesn’t work.

What was the most strange, moving or inspiring moment or person during your time as a barber?

There was a person once who moved me very much. A while ago he came here to get a shave and I could see he was not from around. Out of curiosity I always ask clients were they come from when they seem new to me. I asked him why he chose to come to our barbershop specifically and he mentioned that a visit to our barbershop was on his bucket list. Apparently this man was in the waiting list to get a hart. The average waiting time was about two years, but according to experts the odds were high that his heart would fail within half a year. So he made himself a list with things he wanted to have done before passing away and a visit to our barbershop was one of them. At that moment I approached him in a very unique way. I took more time than necessary and made sure that I listened to what he had to tell. I had a mixed feeling: on the one hand I was very involved with him because I knew that I was doing something that would make him a happier person. On the other hand in the back of my mind there was this thought that perhaps this is the last time I would see this person. I was very moved and proud at the same time that I had the privilege to do that.

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