Modern, clean, fashion forward.
This is some of what you think when you walk into a Modern Image Barber and Stylist location in DFW, owned by Albert Arias.
In today's episode of the ShopSalonCity podcast, we interview him and discover why he took this journey and some of the challenges he's faced along the way.
Q: How did you get into the industry and what made you want to become a barber?
I got into the industry because I've always like the idea of getting a haircut weekly. I've seen it as an art, because there are so many different styles and it just brought interest towards me. And when I found out you could make pretty good money doing it, I took my first steps towards going to barber school. From there on out, I enjoyed it and my passion for it grew and I continued to pursue it.
Q: When did you find out this was the road you wanted to take?
I got out of high school and started at community college for about a year. I decided I wanted to do both, barber school and college. I noticed that I wanted to dedicate more time to barber school, this was around 2013. I went ahead and stuck with just barber school and decided to continue in that direction.
Q: What type of advice would you give to people looking to own a barbershop?
I would say owning a barber shop is not for everyone. There are some people that just want to be a stylist... and there are people that want to be an owner. If you want to be an owner, there are a lot of principals you need to stick to when operating a shop. Also be aware of the sacrifices you have to make as an owner rather than working at a barbershop. I would say to be consistent, work hard, be determined, and save - if you want to own a shop you need to save your money but ultimately invest in the craft to perfect it. There are a lot of challenges like working with marketing, hiring, firing, maintenance, finding the right location... so many things play into the challenges of owning a barbershop
Q: Where are you locations in DFW?
Q: How would you say you have cultivated the brand for Modern Image?
I've drawn a lot on inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest, places like that. I chose the name because I wanted something that would stick for a lifetime. The name modern is always present day and the image is what's important.
Q: What avenues do you use to search for inspiration?
As a barber, you follow other barbers and shops and you kind of pick what you like from that. I also do a lot of traveling and like to take in their culture from the shops there and build an aesthetic that I like from that.
Q: Were there any moments from creating the barbershop that you felt like you wanted to give up?
Time to time... when you know you have a lot invested in something and the you aren't seeing the return that you wanted to. But that's why its important to adapt and improvise and figure out a way to do things in a better fashion to actually reach your goals. And there was a time, especially during covid, that I'm sure for many business owners that they were questioning whether I should remain open. Since barber shops were one of the last ones to open, this especially applies to them. There was around two months that I questioned if this is something I should continue doing since I still have to pay rent, etc... so this was really giving me a big punch and I had to question if this was worth it. That was really one of the most difficult times... during covid and quarantine. And before that when you first start out building that foundation is difficult at times, you really have to put in a lot of work.
Q: What is something you have tried and failed in this industry?
Well I was actually trying to open a third location... but it was literally the week before we shutdown. So... I may see that as a failure because that was my next step and I didn't accomplish it but everything happens for a reason. Everything is trail and error, you have to try new things to see what works and what doesn't.
Q: Lastly, is there anything other than the barbershop you are working on?
Yeah I am trying to get more into the hair styling and product industry; I actually have a clay and pomade that I released recently under the modern image brand. As a barber and stylist, I know exactly how I want it to work and have tested a lot of samples to find the perfect product while testing it with different clients so I'm really happy with how it turned out.
Want to see the products Albert has made so far? Check them out here.