Barber Dean Gleeson tells us why he changed his mind about creating collections and highlights some common misconceptions other might not be aware of…
Before I started creating my own collections, I didn’t see the value in them because I thought it was going to be a big expense with very little reward. This was because I didn’t understand the benefits that could come from putting one together. Myself and my business partner have been in business for seven years now, and we have always had the mentality of making sure all the money we made was put back into the business to keep everything running. Time was also a factor for me because I had a family to consider too, so there was always a reason not to do it.
Then I joined a mentoring course with Chris Foster where one of the main focuses of that was to create a collection over a week and that’s when I realised what you can gain from creating collections.
Everyone in our industry is creative, so we all have that urge to express ourselves creatively but there isn’t always the time or money. Up until that point my outlet for that was in the shop, cutting and styling hair but putting together collections has become my ultimate expression of creativity because I was doing something a little bit different to what I would normally be doing in a shop.
Now that I’ve done it, I understand that if you plan and organise a shoot properly, it doesn’t take up as much time as you think and one of the best things is seeing it published and the recognition you get from within the industry. I also gained more from the process through the planning and the build-up. Like a lot of people, I suffer from imposter syndrome and thought, “I’m not at the level yet” but I learnt so much about myself and what I can achieve from start to finish. Anyone considering putting together a collection should do it because they want the whole experience rather than the end result.
An important lesson Chris gave me was that each time you do it, it gets easier, quicker and more cost effective because you build relationships with photographers, makeup artists, stylists, and models. It isn’t until you start venturing down that route that you start talking to different publications and from there you can network with so many people.
It was easy for me to stand behind a chair five days a week, twelve months a year just cutting but I needed that interval and excitement to keep me going in the industry. I love cutting hair, but this is the best way to show off what you can do to everyone and there’s a whole body of work that you can then enter into competitions which raises your profile. It makes also makes people realise that you are willing to invest in your own craft.
If you’re a barber and you’re not sure where to start with shooting a collection, why not check out some of our recent Collections of the Month…