Today’s episode stars an Irish barbering legend! Joining me is Johnny (The BaBa) Shanahan – founder of Barber Barber UK. Barber Barber is the fastest growing retail brand in the United Kingdom, and today Johnny will be sharing his barbering journey to this and beyond.

From the age of 13, Jonny knew the Barbershop was the place for him. Motivated by the support of his Grandfather, the love of the barbershop quickly took over his life, learning the tricks of the trade in an original, no thrills, no nonsense environment, a place where men are built.

I’ve always been a big fan of both Johnny’s work and super cool swagger. Always saying it like it is, Johnny makes for a terrific guest, who’s inspirational story to creating the Barber Barber UK brand and views on the current barbering boom will keep you engaged throughout.

If you’re curious to hear what it takes to create a barbering brand thats opening every 13 weeks on average, and a turnover projected for £10 million+ by 2018, you’re going to love this episode.

Listen in … it’s a cracker!

Thanks for Listening!

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Today’s Guest

At the age of 23, Johnny got the keys to his first store above a chip-shop in Castletroy, on the outskirts of Limerick, Ireland and quickly established it’s reputation as a purveyor of the finest gentlemen’s haircuts. Still thirsty for knowledge Johnny studied tirelessly after work each evening experimenting with different techniques looking for ways to challenge the status quo. Johnny wanted a haircut to not feel like a chore but to be something people would look forward to once a month. After speaking to his long term friend and customer- UK based property developer Morgan Leahy- Jonny made the decision to sell the business and start afresh by bringing his unique twist to Barbershop culture to the United Kingdom. On the 12th November 2013 Barber Barber UK opened it’s doors in the heart of Manchester city centre. From here the brand has exploded becoming known as the premier destination for scoundrels and gentleman alike, in every major city in the United Kingdom.

Show notes:

Here’s some of what we cover in this interview

  • 3 min 50 sec: Where barbering all started for Johnny
  • 7 min 17 sec: Being a barber in Ireland in the 1980’s
  • 9 min 09 sec: Early training to Johnny’s barbering career
  • 10 min 20 sec: Working for Brian Hackett
  • 12 min 10 sec: Opening Johnny’s first shop
  • 13 min 10 sec: What drives Johnny forward
  • 14 min 28 sec: The start of Barber Barber in the UK
  • 16 min 50 sec: The average, but not so average Johnny
  • 18 min 30 sec: The influence of Donnie Hawley(wood)
  • 21 min 36 sec: Johnny’s opinion on men only shops
  • 23 min 15 sec: Who’s Barber Barber for
  • 24 min 47 sec: The barber boom
  • 26 min 00 sec: Johnny’s team
  • 27 min 35 sec: Investment into Barber Barber
  • 29 min 49 sec: Barbering, a poor relation
  • 31 min 50 sec: The pricing of a mens haircut
  • 35 min 30 sec: Recruiting staff
  • 36 min 49 sec: If Johnny wasn’t a barber
  • 38 min 09 sec: A new chapter with Tommy Guns
  • 44 min 43 sec: Growing to becoming a great in the industry
  • 47 min 51 sec: Quick fire questions
  • Resources