ALWDNY - Mr. Vince Jamael (Professional Groomer)
2016 | Location: Brooklyn, New York
WELL THOUGHT . Part 1 : What is the Key/defining principle you attempt to live your life by? (2:25)
I would probably say, “Nothing is impossible”. That has been drilled in my head since I was a kid. My parents always instilled that in me that nothing was impossible and I truly believe that; with hard work, of course. A lot of people say it, but they really don’t believe it and they don’t put the work in. But, I literally wake up everyday, it is like a mantra; I say to myself, “Nothing is impossible.”
I am originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Southern roots is my background. It keeps me grounded.
I see a certain amount of gratitude in people from the South as opposed to people in the North?
I definitely see the difference. I’ve only been here for about a year. So, I quickly and immediately saw the difference. I would say that a lot of people from here, from what I’ve noticed, they don’t understand what environment they are in. They don’t understand the opportunities that are around them. And, me, coming from a small town, I see there is so much to get into, so much to involve myself with on the positive side. So, I’m coming here trying to take advantage of every opportunity I have.
Part2 : What key decision in your life would you define as the turning point or pivotal moment that brought you to your current state of success? (4:14)
Moving here; taking that step. At first I was scared. And, that’s one thing I think a lot of people won’t admit. When you are faced with a decision in your life, if it invokes a certain emotion or fear, it means it’s a good step, you are moving in the right way.
What prompted you to move to NY?
I feel like I had exhausted all my opportunities in North Carolina. I’m still young, but I feel like it was a place that I did not see myself long-term. There are things I wanted to accomplish in my career and I didn’t feel it was conducive to me. So, I had to make that move. I got the opportunity to work at Adrian S. Grooming, where I am now. I nurtured that relationship a year and half before I even moved. I was in contact with them. I was still in barbering school. I wasn’t even trying to get a job. I was just, “Any advice you can give me?” Just nurturing the relationship. So when they expanded and were looking for more barbers, they made their shop bigger. So I said to them, “Hey, I’m interested.” Since I had nurtured the relationship for almost 2 years, it was like, “Of course.” It was natural. It all happened naturally. So, here I am.
It’s not overnight. You have to really look at every situation. You don’t know who this person is that you are talking to. That is what I say to my clients – you never know who is in your chair. So, I have to treat them as if they are the most important person in my life at the time. That’s how it should be. Not know I was going to be working in this line I am working now. I was just nurturing a true relationship.
Yes, I treat each client as if they are the most important person in my life at the time That’s the approach that I take when a client is in my chair. I never answer my phone. My attention is solely on the client. Even if someone calls me to the front desk. It is so irritating. This is my important person in my life right now
WELL READ . What was the first book or books that were of a major influence to you? (7:45)
I’m going to give you a book. Not necessarily my first book but it kind of hit home for me. That was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It seemed as though it was more of a mindset rather than your actual circumstances. That’s what I got from the book. A kid, he tells the story of these two fathers. One his biological father and the other his friend’s father. But his actual father was the one that was educated. According to the status quo, he was supposed to be the successful one. He had all the degrees, but his mindset was keeping him in the situation where he wasn’t successful. But the other father, who didn’t even have a high school education, he was extremely successful. He had his own business. It just shows you, it doesn’t matter where you come from, your situation, your education if you want to accomplish something, you can do it. But it is that mindset first. You got to change your mindset.
Is there a definitive point of success that you believe in?
I don’t really think that success is a specific point in your life, like if I earn a million dollars or I’ve reached this certain physical state in my life. I really think it is your mindset. Once you make it up in your mind that nothing is impossible, you are already successful. Everything else is going to fall into line. You are going to do whatever it takes to make it. So, you are already successful before you even reach that plateau. In my mind I’m already on that path. Yet, at the same time staying humble know I still have so far to go. I am still a baby in the game.
WELL SPOKEN . What public figure over the past 30 years (past or present) do you most respect and admire? (13:20)
Keeping it current, I have to say Obama. Not that he is the person that I look up to the most. It’s just that I admire his demeanor in tough situations. He’s very smooth. He doesn’t seem to be too quick to move. That’s kind of like how I am. I don’t show a lot of emotion. But, a lot of times, I process things before I react. It is a trait that I got from my father. He’s so poised. He’s relaxed. I just love the way he handles situations when he speaks. He speaks with a certain authority, but not he coming off trying to strong arm you. He always speaks with authority to get his point across.
WELL GROOMED . What was the first 3 things you were taught as a young man about your appearance? (16:00)
The first thing I was taught was the idea, that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s what my parents instilled in me. You never know who you are going to meet at any given time. So I easily applied this to every aspect of my life. I always liked the fresh cut. I didn’t think that I would be that career field, but I just know that I always loved going to the barber shop. Connecting with other gentlemen, gaining wisdom from them. I always connected with that. And, it’s something about when I learned to tie my first tie. It was just so amazing to me. I went home every day tying my tie – jacking it up and jacking it up. When I finally got it, I felt like I was in.
My first barber shop experience was with my father. But, my first grooming experience with my grandfather. That’s when I first raised an eyebrow at it. I would see him in there shaving every morning. I would just stand there and watch him shave. It was just so amazing. I don’t know why I thought it was amazing. He would lather his face up with the old school mug and brush and just shave. I would be like, “I can’t wait until I can use that.” So one day I took one of his razors and tried to line myself up with the actual Gillette razor. I jacked myself up. But that was my first time ever picking up a blade and I was addicted. That was my first experience with the razor.
My father use to wear a high-top fade. So I use to look at his cut all the time. And, it was always tight. It was always smooth. I never liked the high-top fade. But, I kind of have a version of it now. I loved watching him getting a hair cut and me getting a fresh fade. It was like a bonding moment. And, my father passed when I was 12. So that’s when I knew that I could really accomplish anything. Because I didn’t think I would ever get over that. But, that’s when I really knew – if I went through that, nothing’s going to stop me. We were best friends. He pretty much taught me everything I knew up to that point. I was fortunate enough to have a step-father, who is my father now. He stepped right in. So, after going through that, I just knew there is nothing that I can’t accomplish in life.
WELL DRESSED . What persons, genre of music, or era have most influenced your personal style? (20:32)
I’m a music man and I sing as well. So, I definitely have to go with the Motown Era. Everything about that – how Barry Gordy put all these people together. It was like a family environment. Everybody was different in their own way, but they came together as a cohesive unit. But, their style. Everyone had their own style. It was so transcending for the moment. I have to start with Michael Jackson. I mean his style was unbelievable. I feel like Michael was unapologetically himself. He didn’t care what anyone though. You would never see anyone going around looking like Michael Jackson, unless they were imitating him. And, now they do – like the biker jackets and the “Regal/Royal” jackets, military with the gold buttons, and the glove. He set so many trends. And, Marvin Gaye – he was so smooth. His style was completely different – it was like effortless. He was never flashy, but it was just smooth. He was effortless. That was the thing I appreciated about him. Then the Temptations, totally different style – electric blue suits with big black velvet bowties. The whole Motown – I just loved the style of Motown and what it meant for the culture.
I love wearing suits. I will put on a suit quick. But, when it’s “that”, and “that” is the rule and the standard, that’s not me. We are all eclectic individuals. We are not just one dimensional. Everybody has multiple layers to themselves. To expect someone to pretty much wear uniform every day and say, this is what you do. That’s not cool. That’s not it.
Portraits by . ChevalierCreative.