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Chapter 2: Shears Hair Studio

Today we have another very special story! I met Julian in the entrepreneurship program at Rowan University a few years ago and he has been a good friend ever since. It was later down the line that I met Liz and also learned that together they were opening up a hair studio! What they have together accomplished so far is really inspiring so keep reading to learn more.

Liz and Julian

First off I want to say that being able to open up and run a hair studio is amazing! Where did your passion to cut/style hair come from? Was this always a vision that you had or did the idea come along recently?


Julian:

It’s ironic that I'm a barber now because as a kid I hated getting haircuts lol but I feel it's because I wasn't going to the right barber. After searching around in my early teens I came across the right one. Besides being a good barber, he also found that connection with everyone and it felt like I was chilling with my friend every time I got my haircut.  After numerous visits I liked the vibe , flow and connection he made with everyone he met which made me want to do that for myself. Cutting hair gave me that opportunity to not only make individuals look good but also feel good as well and like that saying goes “look good, feel good , do good”. I am able to have people do their best when they look their best , I love creating confidence in others.


Liz:

It is pretty amazing, at our young age being able to say we are owners. I truly wish everyone is able to experience having a business once in their life. Everyone typically has a big inspirational story behind why they start something up. But my passion for the hair industry began right after my first year of cosmetology school. It wasn’t till then that I realized that this was my dream job.


I agree it is a great feeling to realize that you have a real passion for something. Since you mentioned clients and building relationships that brings me to my next question. I see on social media that you work with a wide range of clients including men, women, and children of various ages. What is something that you learned along the way when it comes to dealing with and connecting with clients?


Julian:

Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations. We live in a world that's so antisocial today and you’d be surprised how quickly someone's mood changes by just talking to them face to face! Start asking them questions such as what is their name or what they do and go from there. If it's a child , read them, you’ll be quick to pick up certain things they like ! This applies to every age group in fact. Try to find a common ground. Most importantly Try to find what kind of lifestyle they live which will help when it comes to finding the perfect haircut for them. You have to understand people are in different stages in their lives , some are in a good position and some are unfortunately going through hard times so you have to create a bond with them and watch how they’ll remember you. But if all fails, making them look good always puts a smile on their face haha.



Liz:

Yes we do work with people of all ages and it’s very interesting matter of fact. Something I’ve learned throughout the years when dealing with clients is that in our field listening and understanding their needs is what makes us have a connection. Yes everyone can do the same haircut but the real question is are you giving the right haircut to the right person? Everyone’s lifestyle is different and it’s just a matter of listening to each individual person and giving them something that fits in their lifestyle.



When running a business, each day brings a new experience. Can you tell me about a day or event that felt especially rewarding for you?


Julian:

The first week/1st day was the most memorable because we were fully booked. I’m talking about booked the full week. We had nothing but clients lined up, ready to check us out, ready to support our business and ready to show us their loyalty for something that we dreamed of doing! That feeling will always be in my heart for real.


Liz:

In our industry everyday is a different day. Not everyday will be the same way. We get quite a lot of surprises in a day believe it or not . An event that happened not that long ago actually that really made me take a step back and made me feel very rewarding was when someone booked for a haircut. I was thinking it was a single trim but when a guy came in he took his hat off and  started crying. We talked and then I soon learned that he was diagnosed with cancer and  has been very depressed. He had long hair and due to the news he had gotten he didn’t brush his hair, it had knotted up in a million little knots it seemed like. He was mentally prepared to just cut all his hair off but I knew deep down it’s not what he wanted. So then I proceeded to use all my knowledge I had of de tangling his hair. I remember this day clearly it took a good hour and a half but I was able to detangle all his hair. The whole time we were just talking and I had his back facing the mirror. The moment I turned him back around to face the mirror I will never forget the sparkle in his eye when he saw I was able to save his hair. That look filled my body with a feeling of warmth and  happiness. That’s when I knew I was in the right field.


That's amazing! I'm sure he will always remember that day as well. Being able to make a difference in people's lives is genuinely a rewarding feeling. This next question is for those who want to get into styling and cutting hair but may be nervous about starting out. What tips or advice would you give them?


Julian:

First thing, Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of the process. You will mess up every haircut that you do within the first year guaranteed! You will mess up your boy's hair, your dad‘s hair, your uncle’s hair, pretty much anyone who gives you a chance to cut their hair you will mess it up. Coming  from a barber standpoint, It will be discouraging because obviously you don’t want to get made fun of , you don’t want to face criticism, you don’t want to jack up anyone's hair but I promise as long as you are consistent and practicing you’ll get it down and keep that same drive every time you pick up the clippers. 


Second thing, look for mentors. Nothing beats online learning more than actually going out there and seeing it first hand. In my opinion barbering is a hands-on field and with that you need to dive right into it. Ask your barber for tips and or if you can watch him cut and take notes on how he does it.  When it comes to mentors though, the more the merrier, I always recommend getting at least 5 mentors because each will bring a different skill to the table.


Liz:

The advice I would give someone wanting to start their journey in the hair industry is to start. Pick what you love to do and keep practicing it. Whatever you do DO NOT compare yourself with not a single person ever. Everyone is at a different level in their career that you should never compare yourself with. Even if you are the same age as the other person I promise you are doing amazing.




Those are some great answers that I'm glad you guys mentioned. When I started my business I wish I could have told younger me those same things. Come with passion everyday and also don't compare your journey to other people's journey. This next question I always ask people who have an inspiring story. Clouds and Colors is all about changing your mind and in turn changing your world. Can you tell me about how changing your mind about a difficult situation changed the outcome for the better?


Julian:

The best example I can use was the time leading up to the grand opening. Nothing was going our way to be honest , our mirrors were the wrong size ,the weather wasn’t looking good, our plumbing wasn’t 100% yet and this was days before the grand opening. We were stressed , annoyed and overwhelmed because we had two weeks since getting the key, to pretty much install and build all of our equipment. Liz and I sat down one night a couple days before the grand opening and pretty much came to a realization that what we wanted was gonna come with hard work and that the more we stressed about it the more difficult it would seem. Liz pretty much told me “It's okay we can always fix it down the road”. Once we/ I  came over that mental barrier things ran more smoothly and we were able to work better , concentrate more , and focus on finishing up our studio.


Thank you for that answer! I can see how that would be overwhelming but it paid off. Now with building something as great as you guys have, I know things don’t happen overnight. Is there anybody you want to give a shout out to or recognize for their impact on your journey?


Julian:

From me , it’ll have to be our co-owner / my girlfriend Liz , she's honestly made me see things in a different way. I tend to stress a lot about things and she calms me down and teaches me to approach things differently. Another big support came from our parents, they for real gave us the support and help we needed and continue to do so today! Lastly it’ll have to be our loyal clients that have followed us through our journey and still keep us booked every week!


This has been a great interview and I personally got multiple haircuts so I can attest that Shears Hair Studio is the real deal! Can you plug in your socials and tell us how else we can interact and book with you?


Julian:

Certainly, If you guys would be so generous to follow our page on Instagram @shearsofficial, you’ll see all of our work from not only us but the rest of the team as well. You’ll see the address of our studio along with the website! Or if by any chance you don’t use Instagram , our website will be posted below @shears.setmore.com. If anything it's 2024 lol , you can google us for our number , address, and website. Everything is posted on google as well just search up Shears Hair Studio , Bridgeton , NJ



Shears Hair Studio - 12 Park Dr. Bridgeton NJ 08302




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