Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Calloway.
Courtney, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I found my interest in hair as a kid. My dad’s brother, who has been my biggest influence and mentor, had been doing hair for years and had owned salons in Atlanta and I wanted to be like him when I was young. I found myself playing with dolls and trying to style their hair. I accidentally learned how to braid on my own and have pretty much been doing hair since then. I got my first real salon job in 2012 as a shampoo assistant at a salon in Decatur. Shortly after, I enrolled in cosmetology school at Atlanta Technical College.
I got my license in 2016 and started at a blow-dry bar in Atlanta. I loved what I was doing, but I felt like something was missing. My passion was cutting and coloring, and I knew that I would be able to do more of that as a barber. I decided to go back to Atlanta Tech to get my barbering license. In the midst of that process, I met Will Stamm, whose videos I had watched over and over as a barber educator. He mentioned that he was opening a new location in East Atlanta and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. He added me to his team on the spot. I am now a self-employed barber and entrepreneur and I don’t ever see myself doing anything else but this. Coming into the barbering industry has been one of the most fulfilling ventures I’ve ever taken on.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an entrepreneur in any field is never going to be a cakewalk. It has its ups and downs. As a new barber in a brand new location, I’ve had to hit the pavement and do all the work from the ground up. Whether it’s passing out flyers and cards hand to hand or Instagram marketing, I am ALWAYS having to market myself every single day.
The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is having to make your own clientele from no clients at all. You have days where you come to work and make absolutely no money at all. You have days where you come in and make a lot of money, but it’s an unpredictable game. There are times where I’ve had to spend the last of my money on supplies to keep my business going, but made no money at all that day or the next. Nobody tells you about that part when you decide to step out on your own.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Cocoa Scissorhandz the Barber – what should we know?
I am a licensed master barber and master cosmetologist in Atlanta, Georgia. I specialize in cutting, coloring, hair care, micro link extensions, and i-tip extensions. I offer a full range of barbering services, including loc maintenance and men’s braids. There are two things that set me apart from others in the industry.
The first thing is that I have two different licenses in the same field. I am trained to do EVERYTHING on the men and women’s side of the beauty industry. The second is that I am a woman in a male-dominated industry. I have to work twice as hard as the men to get clients simply because nobody believes that I can really cut until they see it for themselves. I am most proud of the team of other barbers that I work with everyday and my own willingness to go through this process no matter how hard it has been at times.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I feel that having excellent customer service skills, tenacity, and being teachable no matter what are the most important characteristics to have when trying to be successful in this industry. If you aren’t personable and offer your clients top-notch service, they aren’t coming back to you and it doesn’t matter how good their haircut turned out.
Tenacity is important because you are going to face challenges everyday at the beginning of this journey that make you feel like you want to quit, but you can’t. If this is your dream you have to go all the way through it and know that other people before you went through it too, but they did not quit. And being teachable… you have to be open-minded and teachable no matter what level you get to in your chosen field. Nobody wants to help or do business with someone who knows everything. If you don’t open your mind up to learning new things about your craft, you will stay stagnant. This is an industry of revolving trends and if you don’t keep up, you will eventually be out of business.
- Men’s haircut with beard sculpting $35
- Men’s haircut $30
- Teens’ haircut $25
- Kids’ haircut $20
- Address: ProFRESHional Cuts 749 Moreland Ave SE, C103, Atlanta, GA 30316
- Website: profreshionalcuts.com
- Phone: 404-500-6864
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/cocoascissorhandz
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/Cocoa-Scissorhandz-the-Barber-107575103957414/
Photos by Will Stamm