Coming from a family with 4 generations of barbers, I never had to ask myself this question. My father buzzed my hair until I was 6 years old, and my brother Semion practiced on my hair ever since(but that is a story for another time). After moving to New York City in 1999 finding a great barber or hairstylist was never a problem since NYC was full of top level professionals. After we moved to Denver, Colorado in 2001, though, the overwhelming amount of compliments Semion received from both professionals in the industry and clients for his skill and delivery of service made us question the Colorado haircutting industry.
This industry is saturated with so many different establishments, ranging from chains to home-based salons. Consequently, the days when your favorite barber worked in one location until retirement are in the past. The average employment duration for stylists stands at 3 years, with an unconfirmed 60% of them leaving the industry completely in that time. This sad statistic affects everyone.
We all know the feeling when we come in to get a haircut and our one and only stylist is longer there. We feel shocked and sometimes betrayed. And yet, we still need a haircut, so we are forced to play the hairstyling version of Russian Roulette. Sometimes you dodge a bullet, but often you walk away with a less-than-beautiful haircut, forcing us to politely smile, pay for the haircut, leave a tip, and go home to receive “compliments” for our new haircut.
So how does the journey for a great hairstylist begin? In general, we ask our friends and we search Yelp and Google Reviews, but too often we’re left feeling disappointed because the good online reviews were given to unnamed stylists. Or, the stylist you want is too busy, and you have to schedule your whole day around that haircut, you have to pay a hefty price, and/or you have to drive for a long time. We try stylist after stylist until we find one that we are satisfied with and pray that it will be long-term relationship. But remembering the statistic above, this relationship will last on the average only +/- 3 years.
We at Semion Barbershop have recognized this serious issue and determined to resolve it for all Coloradoans. We asked ourselves: why do hairstylists leave their current employer roughly every 3 years?! Well, in all honesty, this is a new trend affecting almost every industry. People are looking for something new, different challenges, better compensation packages, growth opportunities, and more. We all seek to self-actualize. Thus, we at Semion provide above-average compensation packages for our team members, along with in-house training program and the ability to participate and grow within the company. Instead of treating our team members as on-the-clock employees, they are given the opportunity to be part of the Semion concept: our team members participate in all aspects of the barbershop from décor to the products and services we provide.
But above all, we nurture respect and open communication from within. At the end of the day, whether you are team member or a client we are all humans that have feelings, families, and goals; in short, we are part of the community. Semion is not just a place where we cut hair. Rather, it is a place where we build relationships between team members. We are the connection between a Starbucks barista to a tax accountant at Ernst and Young. Some clients call us affordable therapy doctors. The foundation of our industry should not dwell on how prestigious the brand is. Instead, it should dwell on whether or not we “CARE” about each other. It is not just a top notch haircut. It is about a relationship that we are proud to support and share with others. The prestige is not the goal. It is only a by-product. That’s why when we were named the 5280 Top Barbershop in Denver Colorado for 2013 and 2014 we did not even know about it until our clients told us!
I would like to leave you with two questions:
- If you can get a great haircut but the personality or the atmosphere of the place was absolutely awful, would you return?
- If your haircut was not so good but your stylist was friendly and the atmosphere was awesome, would you return?
- What’s with extremes?! Where is the balance between the two: great atmosphere and great haircut?! The balance is at Semion Barbershop, where professionals are not born but are made with a serious training program under strict supervision of Semion Kikirov.
No need to try your luck at Russian Roulette. Just come to Semion Barbershop and become part of the Risk-Free Haircut Experience.
Next topic: Semion Training Program: Clients, Take Back the Control of Your Haircut!