ABOUT GARRETT’S BARBER SHOP
Garrett’s Barber Shop is a small shop in the suburbs of Hartford, CT. The shop has been in business for over 40 years and currently is owned by Garrett Kenny who bought the barber shop from the previous owner, Liugi, 14 years ago. He has two barbers/friends that work with him, Danielle and Elias. In this interview, Garrett tells us about his background and passion for the profession.
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contact details Garrett’s Barber Shop:
Why did you decide to become a barber?
As a kid I always loved going to the barber shop and as I got older and needed to think about a career, I decided to go to a vocational high school and take hairdressing and barbering. I was licensed by age 17 and began working in salons and barber shops. I finally decided to be a barber exclusively when I realized that I really preferred cutting men’s hair over women’s hair.
What does the profession of barbering mean to you? And what is the experience you want to offer your clients?
Barbering is very important to me. It has really become something that I self-identify with. To me, there’s nothing better than a Saturday morning at the barber shop. All three barbers laughing and cutting hair. Clients waiting and talking, drinking their morning coffee. People come here to unwind and get a great haircut and that’s what we always strive for. We don’t believe in any gimmicks or marketing strategies. We just try to make people feel welcomed, comfortable and at home. And most importantly, we take deep pride in our work. As a result, people leave happy.
What kind of people do you attract to your barbershop? What do they look for?
Our typical client is simply any man who wants to look his best. All ages, races and styles. As I’m writing this, we have a client in the chair covered head to toe in tattoos. To his left is a conservative gentleman in his seventies. The two are conversing like old friends. This is a typical day for us and its a culture we really try to cultivate here.
How did the profession change over the years in your opinion? And how do you see its future?
I’ve seen the profession take a couple of turns over the years. When I first started, it seemed that barbering was a dying art. Most men were becoming stylists and most people were going to salons. But over the past 5 or 6 years it seems that people are beginning to take an interest in barber shops again. I think it’s awesome! I think because of the economic downturn several years ago, people have started to pay attention to smaller craft brands, small businesses, locally owned shops. So while the barber profession is an artisan profession, it’s also something that can’t be outsourced. There’s no machine that replaces us, no cheaper facility in another country. And even if there was a machine to replace us, barbers would still survive because at the end of the day, people come to the barber shop for more than a haircut. They come for laughs, community, and friendship. And there hasn’t been a machine built yet that can do that!
Who is the most interesting, strange or moving client you have had so far?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular client that has affected me because I’ve been so affected by all of them. Older guys giving me advice and support, younger guys becoming more friends than clients, watching kids go from kindergarten all the way to college. The entire experience has been a moving one and I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.READ OTHER INTERVIEWS SHOP THE PRODUCTS