After suffering with mental health issues, Daniel decided a career change was in the pipeline.
When did you know you wanted this as your career?
From a young age I have always loved hair and I just wanted to try every hair cut/ style and colour there was. I used to love colouring my mum’s hair; I did get some questionable results! Having left school, I wasn’t keen to start University as I just wanted a career and have a steady income, I decided to gain a career into banking and worked my way up through management roles over 10 years. Having had a tough year in 2018 in my person and work life I suffered from quite bad mental health and while I was signed off sick I took stock of things, I handed in my notice at work and signed up to train at Sid Sottungs Barbering Academy and I’ve not looked back.
When did you start your business and what difference has it made to your life?
I started my business in June 2019 whilst completing my training at the academy. It has made such a huge difference to my life. I’ve got flexibility, no two days are the same and I get to be creative, I love how it’s always evolving and how there is so much to learn. I get a real boost from making my clients feel great and confident. It has also really helped my mental health.
What has been your best moment?
Oh gosh there’s so many to pick from…I’d say my best moment was the 1st time I went around my friend’s house and completed 5 haircuts back to back on my own. I was pleased with the cuts and more importantly my friends did too, they even said it was better than what they normally have done.
What has been your worst moment?
My worst moment must be the 2ndhair cut I did whilst on my course. The gentleman had long blonde hair and it was a complete scissor cut. I felt so out of my depth. I just could not get my head around the angles to elevate the hair and It felt so alien holding the scissors. The hair cut took me 2 hours to complete with a lot of guidance and support from the teachers. I remember wanting to put my scissors down and giving up there and then. I just thought if this is how complicated and hard it’s going to be, I’m not going to be able to do this! I soon put it behind me and continued to work hard in learning the skill. Before you quit…remember why you started!
What advise do you wish you was given?
During my training I was given loads of advice, but I wish I was given advice back when I was in my banking career. I wish someone had said to me…. “Dan is this job really for you? Why aren’t you making something of your creative talents?”
I’m very much a person who is on the go all the time, I find it difficult to relax and switch off, I’m always stacking up jobs in my mind I want to do. If I’m not working, I am at home learning about marketing, designing and playing with new ideas for my business. However, the great thing is I’m self-employed, so I have that flexibility to use when I choose which is reassuring to comforting to know. I tend to rest on Sundays and Mondays. I spend some quality time with my dog, I catch up on my telly and recent film releases. I do struggle with knowing when to stop and chill and I have had burn outs in the past which aren’t pleasant, so I am always weary of and Intune with my body now when I feel I am pushing my mind and body too much. There are two sayings that really stuck with me…. “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” and “a rich man can buy a bed, but he can’t buy sleep”
Any further ambitions?
My plan for the next couple of years is gaining experience and practicing my trade and feeling 100% confident to be able to cut or style any type of client. I want to be able to offer something different.
I want to be able to offer a new take on the whole Men’s barbering experience. I do plan to open my own place one day, once again offering something different. I don’t really want to have the whole Gentlemanly/Victorian interior feel that most Barbershops have. Time will tell!
Follow Daniels journey here: @spendlows_barbering