How This Barbering Podcast is Creating A Community

Published 09th Jul 2024 by Sian Jones

Last year Anthony Laban entered the world of podcasting to shine a light on the stories and struggles that often go unnoticed within the industry, and here he tells us how he got started...

For Anthony, owner of the Anthony Laban Group in South London, it was a chat with the managers of his stores that initially sparked the idea to launch his own podcast. “Initially,I thought it would be four managers all coming together to discuss the problem of the week or what they were dealing with. Sometimes it feels like everyone looks to one person to have the answer and if that answer doesn’t work or they don’t like it, that person’s wrong. I think there’s a process to get to the answer and I thought showing that in real time would be really interesting.”

It wasn’t until he ran into Luke Hamlin, Director at Hamlin Studios, who suggested Anthony should host a podcast with barbers that he started to turn his idea into a reality: “That weekend I scoured through what was already out there and decided my sole focus was listening to and finding out people’s stories. I’d say that’s all part of my style. I don’t interview, I nudge – I want to hear what you’ve got to say. And that was it.”

Since the first episode was launched on YouTube and Spotify in October last year Anthony says his circle has evolved into a community, drawing in barbers and barbershop owners from all over the industry. “It’s made me reach out to more people, and wander into shops or randomly contact people. The more people I speak to the more I realise there’s so many people out there that are getting lost, bogged down, nervous, scared or confused.”

The podcast has become a platform for honest conversations and a chance to highlight those without a voice says Anthony: “There’s some brilliant stuff that people are doing, and it’s not being spoken about. Barbershop to barbershop, the owners - we all feel a bit isolated. It can feel like you’re sitting on the windiest hill without a jumper on. The more I’ve kept talking to people, the more I’ve loved it. It’s been the most enjoyable thing.”

And for Anthony, each episode will always be all about the guest. Central to his approach is authenticity: “We try very hard not to edit. I try and do it all in one take - unless something goes horribly wrong!” It’s through these unfiltered conversations that he has been on his own journey of self-discovery: “I wanted to speak to people in our industry that are living in it, and are bigger players than I am. I come away from every single recording finding a bit of me I didn’t know was there. I feel like I’m being invited to the best dinner party every month - and I love it.”

Sian Jones

Sian Jones

Published 09th Jul 2024

Sian is Editor Modern Barber and Deputy Editor Hairdressers Journal International. She has over ten years’ experience writing for print publications covering Youth & Children, TV & Entertainment and Lifestyle. Sian graduated with a degree in journalism, and whilst studying was nominated for the Guardian Digital Journalist of the Year award in 2011.

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