For a guy, choosing a barber is a very important decision. Most guys keep the same barber for a long period of time. I’ve been getting my haircut from the same barber for over 6 years. My personal barber, Flock is one of the smartest guys I know so I wanted to highlight him and his business model. Here’s my interview with Flock of The Bespoke Barber.
Vince: How long have you been cutting hair and how did you start?
Flock: I’ve been cutting hair for 15 years now. My mother used to do hair and I used to edge myself up and my friends up. Where I’m from, nobody really could cut my hair so I didn’t really get a good haircut til I was about 13, 14 years old. After I went and got my hair cut from a barber named Rodney at this shop called Cuts Unlimited in Norfolk, Virginia, I thought I got my hair cut really well. I liked the camaraderie that they had in the barbershop and that was the beginning of the journey right there.
Vince: That’s dope. What can you attribute your success as a business owner to?
Flock: Just perseverance. Putting myself in situations that are very uncomfortable. I moved around a lot I had to restart clientele and you get momentum going in a certain area. Then you leave that area, it’s kind of hard to re-create the magic in a new area because nobody really knows you. It’s kind of like re-proving a point at a lot of different times in your career, which actually makes you humble because when you get good at cutting hair you kind of get an arrogance about you and feel like, well you need to come fuck with me. Fact of the matter is that people really don’t. You’ve got to prove you’re worthy of fucking with like that, so I’ve been blessed enough to restart. I’ve had a knack for being able to get shit going, which is just, I don’t know … Dope.
Vince: That’s what’s up. What do you think sets you apart from other barbers?
Flock: I ain’t really into and I never really have been into what other barbers are into. I Like dressing, and cars, and, you know, those stupid trivial shit. I love sports but, you know, I get tired. I don’t want to talk about just trivial bullshit all day. You know … I like to think. I’m a thinker so just different random thoughts come across my mind. I love being a student of life, man. If I can read something or listen to something that’ll educate me and just help me as a human, not just as a barber and shit, I’m all into that.
Vince: You have a pretty unique business model. Explain your mobile business and describe the services you offer within it.
Flock: With the mobile aspect, it kind of really started because I moved from Miami to Broward. You learn throughout your career is you don’t want to keep starting over again. I started offering a mobile service to my existing clients and I was driving from Broward to Miami almost every day, and just doing high-end and private house calls. Then I got momentum from the internet. I started a website, a basic website, and it became organically number one on Google. I started having random people find me online and hit me up. I just started getting myself into different situations where people needed a haircut, whether it was somebody in a hospital or just people that didn’t have the time to go to the shop. Older people, rehab centers as well as celebrities and athletes.
Then with the shop, Bespoke Barber, I just needed a stationary location. I was doing strictly mobile for like three years. I became a vendor with Fontainebleau I became their first on-call barber. I knew I needed a stationary location to kind of balance everything out. It’s also easier for people to process of going to a shop because a lot of times with the mobile you’re explaining why your service costs as much as it does. A person’s really paying for convenience. You’ve got to charge more but you have to have your shit on point. In the shop you can come over yourself and you need both.
Vince: Let’s see. What’s one piece of advice that you remember receiving that you use every day or every week?
Flock: One piece of advice that stuck with me, and I don’t even like the person that told it to me, but real shit, is “eat shit til you eat steak”.
Flock: That’s business, man. Can you withstand going through a period of not having something to get to that period of overabundance, like you’ve got to eat shit ’til you eat steak.
Vince: Pretty dope … For anyone starting to cut their hair professionally as a barber, what advice would you give them?
Flock: Trends are cool but classic shit will always outlast. One thing I would say is if you master one basic haircut you could pretty much, if you’re so good at that one thing you could have a career off of just one thing. You know what I mean? Obviously the more arsenal you have in your repertoire the more valuable you are. Also, you got to market yourself. A lot of people, you learn something and you could be a master at something technically but have no knowledge of business, and marketing, and how money works or the fact that if you make money nobody is going to tell you to re-invest or tell you to keep educating yourself. That’s something you have to figure out. Most people they just hit a wall. Even me, I’ve hit several walls and you’ve got to get angry enough to want to learn.
Vince: Every time we talk, I end up learning something. Do you see yourself writing a book in the near future?
Flock: Man, yeah. Absolutely. I definitely want to put my thoughts to paper and present it to the world. I recently, I’m into audiobooks right now. Trevor Noah just put out a book this year called Born a Crime and it’s about his life growing up as a mixed kid in apartheid South Africa. When I listen to it, I don’t know, it struck a nerve with me because I’m mixed and I just understood a lot of the nuances that the average person might not get. I was like, “Damn, that’s kind of deep.” Certain people’s life experiences can be so new to somebody but if you live them they’re so old already, you know what I mean? You know, I definitely would like to share my thoughts and some of my experiences to people who would be open to listen to it. Maybe create a dialogue.
Vince: Dope. Before we end, tell everyone the areas you serve.
Flock: Miami, Broward, and if the papers right Palm Beach.. Hell, I’ll fly out for the check!
Visit BespokeBarberSawgrass.com to book an appointment with Flock today.