‘To undertake? I’m just trying’


‘Classic shaving is an art that few people have mastered well. Shaving is a difficult profession. With hair cutting you can fall back on basic techniques, but shaving doesn’t have them. You just have to do it. If you make a cut, you’re out of luck – but even then you just have to keep going. I’ve practiced tens of thousands of hours.

“I started shaving when I joined a re-enactment club, with which we re-enacted the Battle of Waterloo, for example. It was nice to fulfill a craft in addition to the soldier’s profession. There wasn’t a barber yet, so I thought: I’ll shave. That was very nice. When my job as a sales manager ended a little later, I also started shaving professionally.

“To master the trade, I followed training with major barbers in Rome, Florence and Paris. After that I was able to rent a space in Haarlem through via and I started a store with a partner. Here we sell shaving products, shave customers and groom beards. Fortunately, there was a need for that; many men have trouble shaving, just look around you. Later we also started offering skin care in the store.

“In addition to my work as a barber, I give shaving courses, both internationally and in the Netherlands. Due to corona, I have been less active in this recently, but I think that about half of the Dutch barbers have been trained by me.”


‘Just as the very first shave always fails, I also did everything wrong when it came to entrepreneurship. It was an administrative mess and it sometimes took months before a contract was arranged. I knew nothing about entrepreneurship, but thought: I’ll just try it. I dare to take risks: just close my nose and ears and jump into the water.

“Fortunately, it worked out well. I haven’t regretted a moment. Because I have an authority problem, I love having my own space and being able to select both the people I work with and the clients. We have a very nice customer base. We have pleasant, sometimes even therapeutic conversations with them.

“We are not a rich company. I’ve always been jealous of companies that can do that, but they’re always kind of factories. We are much more authentic. In the end, I think it is much more important to enjoy going to work every day than to earn a lot.

“My big dream is that I can eventually further professionalize my barber act. I also regularly run events – from fairs to company parties – where I am hired as an act to shave and do beards. I would like to expand that further and make it even more of a show.”

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