No shortcut to success for Farzad
Name: Farzad Salehi. Business: Farzad’s Barber Shop, Vancouver.
Contac t: 6 0 4 - 4 0 8 - 0 0 6 0 ; www.farzadsbarbershop.com 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.”
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