TC: WITH the aforementioned achievements in mind, of course proudest moments too, where do you see yourself at the end of the next decade?
CTS: I mean, we’ve opened our first shop now; we were in the midst of opening our second spot technically, but this shop that I’m in now was meant to be a purgatory period almost where we were just sitting here until the new shop was ready. Since all of this Coronavirus thing unfortunately has happened, that’s sort of knocked us a little bit sideways; not for nothing, but because we need to see where the economy sits in the next year now, to see what makes the most sense financially to be opening.
But within the next decade for sure, it want to have at least five shops. I have a group called the Cutthroat Clan, which is a collective of barbers; I want to see that grow into something, I don’t know what that something is just yet but the Cutthroat Clan is something that has a lot of potential.
It’s a crew of me and barbers that I’ve not only taught, but have also met and are really good at what they do plus we share the same standard of passion for cutting hair.
I’m still working on making that a real things as such, like an entity, but that’s a slow sort of pace because where my mind was on opening a new shop I’d try to put Clan on back-burners for a while.
I see myself in the next decade, in all honesty, bro, probably not cutting hair. So, within 10 years I want to have cut enough hair, got my skill level to an amazing level, taught some people, done some things, travelled all over the world — which is actually all I’ve done over the last four years. But then I think I want to move on and do something else with my life, man, because I’m one of these people that has a passion for artistic creation itself. That’s how I see hair, as art, just as I saw food when I was a chef; you know, I had a really good palate and was good at making food for sure — I couldn’t have gotten to where I was otherwise, I was a head chef on the most expensive street in Southampton for food. But, what I was really good at was plating and making food look artistically appetising.
So, I see myself finding something else that can also give me that artistic passion and drive; I don’t know what that thing is yet, but I know when I find it I’ll snap and get straight into it. I’m like that, impulsive but very impulsive when I find something that I fall in love with, just like hair, I’ll give it everything that I’ve got — I’ll be obsessed. I have compulsively obsessive personality, where anything I like doing I take the piss and I’ll do it until the wheels fall off. Really in the next decade, I see the Cutthroat Samurai being the same but in a different trade; I’ll still have my shops and cutting hair here or there for regulars on a weekly or monthly basis.
Honing my blade as such to keep it sharp and to be used at any time. I want to be able to draw it and not worry that it’s blunt, you feel me?
My father was a tattoo artist for 22 years so I’ve been around the tattoo-game my whole life, though I haven’t dove into it yet that could be a potential for me. I really love things like woodwork and engraving, so it’s something I would look to, also things like painting and customisation. All of my clippers are custom painted, I do all my clippers in wrap and vinyl — something along these lines maybe would be quite cool. Like I said, only the fortunetellers and their crystal balls can know what the future holds; for now I’m just trying to be the best barber I can be and really take over not only Southampton as a city, but really be a globally known entity as a barber.
TC: Stepping away from your brand face for a moment — when it comes to local creatives would you say there’s a wall stopping untapped talent from exceeding expectations? Or is this merely psychological?
CTS: I think there is a wall stopping people from exceeding, but I honestly think that wall is all psychological. Now, there is to an extent an argument to that question and I understand that fully, there are two sides to every coin right? Lets put it into terms for me, the easiest creative path we could talk about is someone that does art; because that’s one that a lot of people do, not just art but art in many different ways like painting on canvas, sculpture work, someone who does custom furniture and I’ll give examples too because I know people.
Yes you can turn around and say there aren’t enough art galleries, or there’s not enough media promoting us local artists, or there’s not a big enough creative cult for us to be heard; again I feel like this is all psychology. In Southampton there wasn’t a big community of barbers who really gave a shit about what they were doing, there was a bunch of local barbers that cut your hair and that’s that.
You know, I came in with a completely different mindset, telling myself that there is no one that can make a wall high enough for me to not be able to get over it and do what I need to do, to get where I need to get in this game.
There might not be the creative hub, so go make the hub. Like for me, there wasn’t a group of creative people who all wanted to do hair the same way I did, so I made the Cutthroat Clan, I made that group and now we have WhatsApp chats to share our cuts and ideas which we agree and don’t agree with — it’s an amazing thing that we’ve built there already. If someone says, “oh there’s not enough platforms for me to put my work, not enough galleries or websites”, then make a place or make a platform, get up and go. I have so many people who sit in my chair that are amazing artists, from people that we know in the city like Josiah and Ganley, a friend called Tom Crook — all these people who do awesome things that are art. Photographers, videographers, all these people that I’ve met who are hella talented, right, and it all gave them a platform. If you do art, bring it to me and I’ll hang it in the shop; if someone wants to buy, we’ll stock it and the shop won’t take a cut. All we ask is a piece for the wall framed and that’s your payment. I made platforms, so anyone that tells me there isn’t a platform I tell — go and make one, it’s that simple.
I honestly do think, Southampton itself doesn’t have the best platforms for artistics to be there and work, but, there are people trying, there are places you can go and like I said — if there isn’t, make it happen. Without you putting your foot down and making something happen, it ain’t going to happen. You can sit there all day and complain or you can do something about it, one of them will get you paid, the others not, one will advance you in life and the other not — for me it’s black and white like that. I’m not going to let anyone stop me, and I’m especially not going to let myself stop me if I know I can make it happen.
TC: Lastly, scenario time. You have a new trainee, a padawan shall we say and they ask for one piece of advice, or a push in the right direction. What is this one piece of advice that you provide?
CTS: Funny enough, this is a question I can answer very easily because I had already made this for people. So, I have a saying when I’m teaching in any situation — “first it’s the three things; passion, consistency and development”, these are three words I live my life by now, in that order.
First you need passion, whatever you do in life you need passion, you need to wake up everyday and be excited to go and do what you’re going to go and do. Now, true say everyday can’t be a fun day because most of our life is work. You need to find passion in it, you need to be 85-90% passionate about that thing everyday and excited to get up to go do it. If you can’t find passion in what you do, you won’t be able to do anything; passion is what drives us, you won’t be able to achieve anything without that thing. If you wake up every morning not excited to go do what you going to do for the majority of your day, if your job doesn’t allow you to find passion in — it’s not the right thing for you to do. Because, when you have passion everything comes easy, you’ll not notice the hours melt away as you’re just so stuck in and engulfed in what you’re doing day-by-day. Without sounding too up there, it feeds your soul; passion is what really give you the ability to live life to its fullest.
Then, consistency; if you have passion then consistency is the most important trait of any hard-work. Reason being, if you’re consistent it’s impossible not to succeed and get good at things. If you consistently cut hair everyday like I did for four years, like with all these artistically-based things, you will succeed and become great at it; it is a fail-proof plan. It works every time. You might not like it anymore, but you will be one of the best at what you do.
Consistency rolls into the third thing, which is development. So, once you’ve got the consistency then you choose to develop yourself in whichever way you want. In my example for instance, I want to develop in the way of learning how to colour hair shall we say because colouring is becoming a big thing for men these day. Because I’m passionate about what I do, it’s easy for me to find out how to colour hair and find the right people; I’m consistent in how I do those things, and then I develop myself in the way of colouring hair. Constant development, finding the next step in your trade, finding the next things that’s popping or next thing that’s going to be big — trying to be ahead of the curve if not right at the tip of the curve, constantly developing your skills and abilities. If you develop constantly, you will grow constantly, you will be the best at what you do it’s simple as that.
So, that’s my piece of advice to everyone. Passion, consistency, development; these three words, live by them and you’ll succeed in everything — doesn’t matter whether you put it towards your relationship with your family or girlfriend, whatever.
TC: Bless Rico, all of those answers were absolutely spot on. Sure this is going to speak volumes to those wanting to be in your positing in the near future; appreciate you being a part of this again! Love.
CTS: Much love, thank you for the opportunity to do this I really appreciate it. All the content I’m going to give you is done by local creative guys as well, so that’s the tying of us all working together to try create this little platform between me and the boys.