No short­cut to suc­cess for Farzad

The Province - - Money -

Name: Farzad Salehi. Busi­ness: Farzad’s Bar­ber Shop, Van­cou­ver.

Con­tac t: 6 0 4 - 4 0 8 - 0 0 6 0 ; www.farzads­bar­ber­ Num­ber of em­ploy­ees: Two. Time in busi­ness: Three years, nine months.

What is your busi­ness? I’m a bar­ber, of­fer­ing men’s hair­cuts as well as straight-ra­zor shaves in my old­world style shop in Yale­town.

How did you choose this busi­ness? I have been a bar­ber for 25 years since learn­ing the trade in Iran, where I was born. I have worked with, and learned from, some very highly skilled bar­bers, as well as some savvy busi­ness own­ers over all th­ese years and they helped me to learn. I owned my own bar­ber shop in Iran twice, but this is my first one in Canada. I’ve been here for 15 years.

What is your big­gest suc­cess? I al­ways be­lieved that this busi­ness would be suc­cess­ful. I wanted to have a small, busy, neigh­bour­hood bar­ber shop where peo­ple al­ways feel comfortabl­e — kind of a home away from home, where fathers bring their sons for their first hair­cuts, grooms-to-be come for their wed­ding-day shaves and daugh­ters bring their dads for a Fa­ther’s Day shave and hair­cut. I wanted a place where every­one feels wel­come, even just to stop by and say hello, and I feel we have that here.

What is your big­gest chal­lenge? Keep­ing the great thing we have go­ing and never tak­ing any­thing for granted. This is a busi­ness where clients con­stantly come and go, so it’s re­ally im­por­tant to keep the regulars com­ing back as well as al­ways try­ing to bring new clients into the shop. It’s a con­tin­u­ous shift­ing cy­cle that we must al­ways pay at­ten­tion to.

Hard­est-learned les­son? Grow­ing up and learn­ing to be proud of who I am and what I do. In my younger days, I was more hot-headed and would tend to over­re­act to ques­tions peo­ple would ask, or com­ments they’d make, be­cause I thought they were judg­ing me. I felt a need to im­press, and to show my­self in dif­fer­ent lights to dif­fer­ent peo­ple so that they would see me bet­ter. Now I see that be­ing my­self, loving my work, tak­ing pride in what I do, learn­ing from past mis­takes and just ap­pre­ci­at­ing and en­joy­ing this amaz­ing life is my big­gest re­ward.

Fu­ture plans? I al­ways wanted to have a two-chair bar­ber shop and that’s what I’ve got here. I like to keep things on a small, more per­sonal scale. We have an ex­pres­sion in Farsi: “The big­ger the roof, the more snow you have to shovel.”

Want to be in Mind­ing Your Own Busi­ness? Just fol­low this for­mat and send your in­for­ma­tion to The Prov­ince at on­the­move@the­p­ Don’t for­get to in­clude your phone num­ber.


Farzad Sakehi tends to a cus­tomer at his Bar­ber Shop in Van­cou­ver. He likes to keep a small but per­sonal es­tab­lish­ment.

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