As Told To
We're so proud to have talented and passionate barbers on our Groom Room team. Morgan has been on the team for over a year, and is based in our Auckland High St barbershop. She competed in BarberCraft 2018 with some epic results! Following her first place in the Classic Cut Category at BarberCraft NZ 2018, we chat to Morgan about all things barbering.
What brought you to Groom Room? What’s your barbering background?
I started working at Barkers Groom Room in April last year and I actually started out as a Front of House while I was still studying barbering. Starting on in January last year, everything about barbering and barbershops were new to me since surprisingly, I didn’t exactly spend much time in barbershops! I didn’t realise how well known Barkers was until I started telling people I was working there and they would simply reply with “wow”. Quickly enough, I figured out why!
What motivated you to be a barber?
I’ve always been drawn to career options that involved making people feel good about the way they look and being able to connect to all walks of life. Actually, I only stumbled across barbering after working in a local hairdressing salon as a Junior (sweeping, cleaning, you know the drill). I loved talking to clients and watching them leave feeling so confident with their refreshed looks, but I knew deep down that hairdressing wasn’t exactly what I wanted to pursue. I wanted a more challenging career. And what’s more challenging than being a female in one of the most male-dominated industries, barbering.
What are the highlights and positives of your job? What do you love?
There is nothing more rewarding than making your clients look and feel amazing. It’s like helping someone reach their full potential, especially the clients who come in and don’t know what they want. When they get up from the chair, they leave looking great and feeling educated about their hair and what looks good on them. I still get a little giddy when my regular clients come up and say, “I’m here to see Morgan.” Knowing that it’s not only my skills and knowledge about barbering that brought them back, it’s me personally, is special. I know that I’ve left some kind of impact on them. Anyone can cut hair but it’s your personality and customer service that will keep them coming back.
Tell us about more about Barbercraft. How did you feel on the day, were you nervous at all?
Where do I even start? I was a bundle of stress, nerves and excitement leading up to the day. I felt I was probably the most inexperienced in my division, having only been cutting hair for one and a half years. My model had backed out four days before the competition so needless to say, I was a little shaken and rushed to have to find another model. Luckily, my manager Jeremy had an amazing client to spare, so I managed to convince him to let me cut his hair (which I’m sure he’s regretting now)!
And what was your favourite part?
So going into it, I was not expecting anything. I just felt extremely blessed to be surrounded by so many talented people who all shared the same passion for cutting hair, and also to be able to represent Barkers Groom Room in such a prestigious event. I think my favourite part was how electric the environment was. Everyone there was so supportive and I got to watch friends, co-workers and inspirational people in the industry do what we love. Honestly, amazing! I can’t tell you anything about the prizegiving as I’m pretty sure I blacked out… All of a sudden I was on stage accepting this award and in my head, I was just thinking, ‘This has to be a mistake’. I’ve come to terms with it now but there are still no words to describe how it feels to be recognised for your achievements, in front of all the people who have helped me become the barber I am today. Especially when you self-proclaim as the underdog! Overall, it was a magical experience for me and I guess it’s only up from here!