V’s Barbershop

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We were lucky enough to get an interview with the master behind V’s Barbershop, Jim CEO and Founder, V’s Barbershop shared with us his experience owning a barbershop.

1. Where are you located?

We were founded and still headquartered in Phoenix, AZ.  We currently have 20 V’s opened in 9 states.

2. When did you start this business?

1999

3. When did you realize you wanted to be a barber?

I am not a barber.  However, I realized in 1998 that I could not find an authentic, upscale barbershop anywhere in the United States, so I started V’s.

4. Describe a few steps you took to become a barber.

We get asked all the time on the best way to become a barber.  We suggest that they research barber schools in their area and make sure that the school they choose has a good reputation and is well thought of by the state Barber Board for graduating well trained barbers.  We also suggest that if they do not like to communicate with others then not to bother with barber school.  Lastly, we have found that those with artistic ability make the best barbers, so we always ask if they can draw and if they can, we encourage them to look into barbering as a profession.

5. How would you deal with a customer who didn’t know what they wanted? 

We train our barbers at V’s to make sure that they and the patron fully understand the cut before they begin.  Since we are not a “quick cut” or “chop shop”, we always take as much time as is needed to fully understand the patron’s wishes.

6. Are woman allowed in your barbershop? 

Yes, and we have many come in with their sons and wait while his hair is cut.  Kids are a big part of any successful barbershop and we do our best to make sure that not only do we give our kids our best effort, but also try to make sure that his mom enjoys he wait as well.

7. What are some of your accomplishments as a Barber? 

We have won literally hundreds of awards through the years.  I am most proud of being named “Best Barbershop” by Phoenix Magazine 10 times.  This is “the” list to be named to in Phoenix and we have fortunate to have been named so many times.

8. Who are some of your favorite barbers? 

We have well over 100 barbers throughout all of our shops and many are my favorites.  We employ some of the best barbers in the United States and I am proud that any of them can cut my hair.  We also perform over 20,000 shaves a year at V’s and with kind of volume and experience, I would put the V’s barbers up against anyone in the world at straight-edge shaving.

9. What do you believe makes a quality hairstyle, cut and groom? 

Attention to detail and the ability to execute the patron’s desire.  In the end, all barbers are the same – the ones that care the most, make the most.

10. What makes your barbershop different to others? 

V’s started the resurgence of the authentic barbershop in 1999.  Almost all of the shops that have popped up since have been influenced by our attention to detail, execution and success.  Throughout our existence, we have been well served by never straying from the authenticity of our shops, services or mission.

11. Where do you get your inspiration? 

Going to the barbershop with my dad when I was a kid and then bringing my son to the barbershop when he was young.

12. What advice do you have for aspiring barbers? 

Learn that cleanliness, sanitary practice, quality services and saying thank you are key to success.  Also, the successful barber realizes that the other barbers in the shop have rent to pay and mouths to feed, so encouraging their success will lead to a better functioning shop and more money for all.

13. Explain what a barbershop means to you. 

It is a community place for guys where a little show is put on every day and the experience stays with you after you leave the shop.

14. Where can readers find out more about you and your work?  

www.vbarbershop.com  

Facebook

Google V’s Barbershop.

V’s Barbershop Locations

44 43 15 The-Works-(2)

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Tips & Facts: Razor Sharpening

slumiGood honing and good stropping are both absolutely necessary for a good straight razor shave. In order to get a clean and sharp razor blade we start off with honing which sharpens your razor. Then we move onto the stropping. The strop doesn’t sharpen the edge of the razor at all, but simply aligns the edge keeping the very thin metal all pointing in the same direction.

Types of hones:

Natural: Natural sharpening stones can be a lot more difficult to come across due to the inconsistency of their origin. Because they are quarried (mined) from the earth, it becomes more difficult to find an ideal shape or texture in the stone. The use of natural stones require using slurry stones to create a slurry (paste-like consistency) to sharpen the razor. A natural sharpening stone is often less aggressive and consequently gives the razor a smoother shave.

Synthetic: Manmade stones offer the consistency that natural stones can not. Often made of a ceramic base for leverage and abrasive powder to form grits, the stone are carefully constructed and often give a sharper, crisper edge. The grits follow a number system which allows for customers to select the level of coarseness they prefer.

 

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Naniwa 12,000 Grit Super Stone in Stand

 

Types of strops:

The types of sharpening strops depend on how they are set and the method used while stropping.

Hanging – These are the only style strops that need to be attached to an immovable object which holds the strop stable while stropping. They often have a hook or loop which affixes to an object and a loop or handle at the opposite end of the strop to hold it steady while stropping. These are the most common sharpening strops.

 

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30 Degree Thin Latigo Natural Leather Strop with Handle, 3″

 

Paddle/Loom – Paddle/Loom strops are relatively uncommon, but are convenient for travelers. The leather strop is affixed to a paddle with an extended handle. These types of strops are as equally as effective as hanging strops, but can be harder to use due to their average size and angle at which the strop must be performed.

 

HR-430-036-00-bison-paddle-strop-case002_2Bison Paddle Strop Razor Case

Types of Materials used:

Materials: Most strops are comprised of a leather component and a reverse fabric component. The fabric aspect is used to thoroughly clean the razor before using the leather component to actually realign the blade’s edge. There are very many different leathers and fabrics used for razor stropping, below are among the most common:

  • Latigo – Typically, this refers to a special process used to treat cowhide leather during the tanning process. It is generally treated with aluminum salts/oil and leaves the strop slightly flexible, oily and strong.
  • Russian Leather (Juchten) – Russian leather is also comprised of cowhide leather, but has been treated with birch oil during it’s tanning process. The birch oil gives the leather a distinct texture, smell and reddish color. The Russian Leather strop requires less time to break in and even allows for a gentle bare hand massage to prepare it for stropping
  • Fabric – The most common materials used to clean the strop are cottonlinen and hemp.

Take a look at the diagram below from Gentleman’s Shop to see how you strop and what direction you move the blade.
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A fine hairdo makes a fine BYRD

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Okay, let’s get this straight… so there really is a Pomade out there that caters to the surfing lifestyle. Why a pomade if you are going to be going into the ocean anyway? Whats the point..? Read more from this interview we had with owner Chase of BYRD Hairdo products.

1. Where are you located?

We originated in Newport Beach but are now based out of Culver City, CA

2. When did you start this business?

November 2012

3. When did you realize that this is what you wanted to pursue?

Being from Newport, the hub of surf culture, I grew up surfing as an amateur and now professionally with Quicksilver. You could presume that a surfer starting a men’s hair care line with nothing to do in the cosmetics industry is obscure. Having your own look and style and paying attention to your appearance were traits bred in me. In the early stages of high school my friend introduced me to Murray’s and I was hooked on pomades ever since. I feel like things just fell into place after that. Between my surfing career and business, I keep myself busy. It’s a pretty rad thing when work doesn’t really feel like work.

4. Describe a few steps you took to make this happen.

There was never a pomade I loved that catered to my everyday surfing lifestyle being in & out of the ocean. Murray’s take weeks to wash out and all others would sting my eyes and fluff my hair. I wanted a great all around pomade that I could throw in, go surf and come out with the same salty slick. I started making home batches of pomade with melted down beeswax and essential oils in crock pot. After all those failed, I researched a team of chemists to work with on the first Byrd pomade samples. After some months of testing, the idea realized and BYRD Hairdo Products was born.

5. How would you deal with a customer who didn’t know what they wanted?

The Byrd customer is confident in their style but if they were having trouble deciding on a product, we’d point them in the right direction.

6. What are some of your accomplishments as a business?

The Byrd flock has come a long way in a year and 5 months. The latest project in the works is our addition to the pomade collection. Our Matte and Light pomades are soon to launch this summer and we are fired up about them.

7. What do you believe makes a quality product?

You can spend months perfecting details and packaging which are a huge part of positioning your product but when it comes from you, that’s what makes it special.

8. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Surf culture, fashion, traveling around the globe.

9. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Attitude is everything. There’s a quote from Benjamin Franklin I read whenever I’m in a rut. “I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. “ Maybe attempt #101 will succeed.

10. So you have a Barbershop, eh?

Yes, we have a barbershop here at our office in Culver City but its only operational during the Slick Saturday events we have.

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11. What is Slick Saturday? 

Byrds presents Slick Saturdays once a month at our creative space/ office/ barbershop/ home in Culver City. We provide fine cocktails and fresh cuts to all our friends and fans of Byrd.

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This is an old posting. Check Facebook for a new posting soon.

12. Where can readers find out more about you and your work? 

Website: byrdhair.com

Instagram: @byrdhair

Facebook: facebook.com/ByrdHair

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Byrd Products:

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Shop at http://www.pomades.com

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LOOK SLICK BY BYRD from Jon Hechtkopf on Vimeo.

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Inspired Style: He Spoke Style

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We have followed Brian Sacawa’s blog “He Spoke Style”  for a while now and we are always in awe of his classic style and love for style and grooming. This is captured in his photographs. This week we really enjoyed reading his post about “Shave” where he describes it as ” Also like my morning coffee, I like taking my time and enjoying the process of shaving. It’s one of the few times that I force myself to slow down during the day.”

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Read more here: Shave

What brands do you prefer when shaving and why?

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