THE STORY OF CRAIG THE BARBER
How a passion and purpose for the art of barbering led one man to reinvent himself as a master of and advocate for this traditional craft.
Craig the Barber is Hollywood’s top source for men’s grooming needs, a role he has held for more than 10 years. But the true story is that Craig unknowingly began his journey toward becoming a master barber all the way back at the age of 14 years-old. Like many high school students, he valued his personal style a bit higher than his parents (meaning he thought getting a fresh haircut each week was perfectly acceptable while they didn’t quite see things that way!) and began to teach himself how to cut hair in order to achieve his desired style.
He failed miserably at his first self-haircut attempt and was left with a bald patch on the side of his head. But the important takeaway here is that the hair grew back and Craig never gave up. With practice and patience he soon not only excelled at cutting his own hair but also became the go-to “barber” for most of his friends, a role that continued through his college days. Upon his college graduation he followed his degree – though not necessarily his heart – into the world of banking and began what he thought would be his future. He now happily reflects on just how mistaken he was back then!
Craig began his financial career in earnest, working hard and diligently although he never loved what he was doing in the world of banking. He missed the days of being passionate about something and sought to pursue a career that wouldn’t feel like such work. After much soul searching, and with the unending support and encouragement of his wife, he realized that his passion could indeed be his career. The next day he delivered notice of his resignation at the bank and enrolled in barbering school.
After completing his formal training Craig officially began his barbering career and worked with several prestigious salons and barbershops in the Los Angeles area, including Gornick & Drucker’s at the Montage Beverly Hills, The Shave of Beverly Hills, Fred Segal Beauty and Dean Anthony Men’s Salon, where his clientele grew to include many of Hollywood’s most famous faces and names. During this time he simultaneously launched his on-site grooming service called The Grooming Concierge, where he provided services for photo shoots, films and events.
Over the next few years Craig the Barber’s growing portfolio of work began to include media coverage and appearances, as he was frequently featured as an industry expert in blogs, magazines and on national television. This lead to interest from the corporate world and he began lending his services to prestigious events, such as Diddy’s annual 4th of July “White Party” in and Michael Jordan’s Celebrity Golf Tournament in. Soon thereafter he began serving as a frequent contributor to Men’s Health magazine.
Craig began building a name for himself in the industry and he was known as more than simply a groomer, barber or stylist. His reputation was that of a “master barber” and expert in his field, and one of the remaining few who stayed true to the original craft of barbering. Craig furthered this opinion when he launched his blog, TheMensRoom.com, a site dedicated to the art of barbering and style for men.
Craig’s belief that being a well-groomed man does not mean going overboard and that any guy can take charge of his style and appearance with the right guidance. He was able to realize that dream by bringing his expertise to a wider audience on the web where his readers can learn all the things they wanted to know but were afraid to ask. With topics ranging from the proper way to apply cologne to razor bumps to pesky nose hair, TheMensRoom.com is the one destination that has it all. The approach is “for men, by men” and was an immediate success as its no-frills approach resonated with readers and advertisers alike.
With daily blogs and ongoing videos, The Men’s Room introduced Craig to a whole new audience. He began receiving emails and calls on a daily basis from existing barbers, barbers-in-training and men who wanted to know and learn more. And as his reputation grew his calendar became even more busy as Craig continued to spread the word about men’s grooming.
Craig has served as the spokesperson for two global brands, Lab Series by Estee Lauder and Philips Norelco, he creates, produces and hosts exclusive how-to videos for eHow™ Style, he is a contributing educator to the Paul Mitchell Schools and he has flown around the world to consult with corporations and host consumer events.
Today, the name “Craig the Barber” means more than the man himself, it has also become a brand in itself. And the barber, the spokesperson and the expert himself continue to grow the name through appearances, media, sponsorships, education, online content client interaction.
Craig is a true example of how following one’s passion will lead you to never “work” a day in your life because you will always love what you do. As he says himself, “Life is meant to be lived, not worked!”
Craig currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisamar and their young son Isaac.