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Conversations with the Inspiring Carley Fant

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carley Fant.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Carley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in Kennesaw, GA. After graduating from Marietta High School, I received a softball scholarship to Georgia Perimeter where I played for a year. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to major in, and following my freshman year, I decided to move back to Kennesaw. During this time, I began working as a receptionist at a salon. I really enjoyed the creative environment as well as the personal connections involved in the hair industry so I began an apprenticeship offered through the salon, I studied under numerous stylists who had incredible amounts of knowledge and experience. After working there for a few years, I left and bounced around different environments until I found my niche’ within the hair industry. I enjoyed the precision, detail, and tools involved in short haircuts and that lead me to barbering, which I’ve focused on for the last six years.

A year and a half ago, two of my friends/colleagues and I decided to open Tiger’s Eye Barbershop in hopes of creating an environment that was inclusive and welcoming to clients from all walks of life.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Like Atlanta, it definitely wasn’t a smooth road. There are always struggles. I often questioned whether I had the skill and talent to make it in this career. I think it’s common, especially in creative industries, to become your biggest critic and you can easily convince yourself that your work sucks even years into your craft. If you keep pushing forward, eventually something clicks and it gets you on to the next level. I think the cycle of pushing through periods of doubt and coming out on the other end is something that will continuously be a struggle no matter how much experience I have. My advice would be to find peace in knowing that everyone goes through the same ups and downs, I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who inspire you and people who believe in you to help you get through the frustrating times and to remember that the people we admire most went through the same emotions and questions but kept going.

What should we know about Tiger’s Eye Barbershop? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m Co-Owner of Tiger’s Eye Barbershop where I work alongside Helene Kelman and Frankie Edwards. We specialize in cutting short hair and wanted to create a comfortable space for our clients from every walk of life. I think that getting a haircut can be a stressful situation for many people, especially people in the LGBTQ community. I have personally been turned away from a barbershop because I was a woman, despite wanting a barber style haircut. We strive to provide quality work, as well as a safe and comfortable space for everyone.

I’m most proud of the love and respect the three of us share for our craft and clients. We value the opportunity to get to know and grow with the people that sit in our chairs. At the end of the day, we can all agree that it’s our clients and the relationships we build with them that brings the most joy.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
I was raised by a very hard-working family. My mom went back to school for her education degree when I was in elementary school. She managed to work, go to college, raise a child and achieve her goal. Even though they had extremely busy lives, my parents got me to every sporting event and made sure I always had what I needed. Their inspiring work ethic, love, and support have definitely helped me get to where I am.

We shared a house with my grandparents growing up and I always admired my grandmother, Babe’s amazing fashion sense and stylish short hair. I can remember pretending to cut her hair as a little kid with these fake plastic scissors. She inspired an interest in style and creativity at a young age, and always believed in me and my career.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 887 W Marietta St NW
    Unit M105
    Atlanta, GA 30318
  • Website: tigerseyebarbershop.com
  • Phone: 404-228-3012
  • Email: tigerseyebarbershop@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @tigerseyebarbershop/@carleyfant
  • Facebook: Tiger’s Eye Barbershop

Image Credit:
David Clifton-Strawn

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