Brand Masters is a new series that explores what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in the contemporary landscape of culture. Whether you’re building a name for yourself or your label/store, these individuals have gone through the process and drop dimes.
This week we’re back across the pond in the greater Manchester area of the United Kingdom, chopping it up with Danny Robinson, founder and owner of Danny & Co. Barbers. More than just a barbershop, the brand is a brick and mortar representation of a lifestyle, energy and vibes. As its expert curator, Danny has credited the entire experience to constant learning, identifying a unique niche, a white board, and never stopping the grind. That’s how he managed to land working with one of the world’s largest brands – Formula 1.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Like the saying goes, nothing is built overnight. For Danny and his barbershop, it took years of learning and finding their own identity and niche that really connected with their audience. The final curated experience includes fire kicks on feet, skateboards on the walls, Danny dressing head to toe in Stone Island and neon signs with provocative and thought provoking slogans. It’s like Chico Boom talked about, you have to leave a certain energy for your patrons that has them yearning to come back and talk about you to their friends.
Danny also talks about his own identity. His idea of the male image. Dress to impress and people will understand your overarching brand.
On the same tip, barbering is not only a lifestyle, but also a business — you have to live it and breathe it, but most importantly, you also have to invest dollars into it. For Danny, who’s also a creative and into multimedia (photography, videography, etc.), he uses a white board to write down all his ideas and goals. He also dedicates a huge amount of time towards media and marketing, because he understands that the visual aspect of the brand is key. And correctly leveraging and using social media correctly can directly put butts in chairs within a matter of seconds.
“I could be in bed, I could be at work, I could be at the gym, I could be driving, and as soon as a note, or an idea, or something will come into my mind, I will literally just put it in the notes in my phone, and I’ll put it on the whiteboard.”
Learn from thy mistakes
A lot of us don’t know when to say no, or the value of our time and work. Early on in his career, Danny admits he was a “yes man” and constantly worked too much. He exhausted himself and his relationships in the process. After receiving some “know your worth” advice, he took the time to filter opportunities and ask for more. In return, he did better for himself and the brand, eventually working with world renowned brands like Formula 1.
Collabs don’t just happen
Fellow Briton Hayden Cassidy said it best, collaborations are about vibes and surprise, surprise, you don’t always have to say yes. However, in order to land any big project, you have to put in the work and be prepared walking in the door like Pacinos said. For Danny, that means keeping both his mind and body in check. He knows you can’t wing it, whether it be a client or a business meeting.
Like all, Danny struggled through the pandemic as well. But he didn’t allow for all that negative energy and thoughts to get to him, he invested in himself like Angel Villegas said, and came out with a whole bunch of new skills that he taught himself. He recommends The Secret by Rhonda Byrne for anyone that’s going through a rough patch. Listen in below on the great advice.
So whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first time barber looking to get into the game, Danny preaches to never give up and to always trust in your own vision.
“[Barbering] it’s an actual lifestyle. You wake up in the morning, it has to be the first and the last thing that’s on your mind. There’s no more to it, and this is where I say sometimes things have gone a bit pear-shaped in my life. It’s because everything that’s in my mind is to do with work.”
If you’re looking to hire, and keep those barber chairs filled, take a look at someone the second they walk in the door and how they present themselves. Like we’ve constantly said about branding, it’s 24/7 and you represent the brand all the time. And success is shared, if one of your barber’s leaves to open up their own spot, be supportive.
With all that he’s done for himself and Danny & Co., Danny still hasn’t had time to get into education, which he’s looking to move into. He no longer wants to keep the business secrets close to his chest but instead is looking forward to sharing knowledge on the creative and business side of a barbershop.
Never underestimate the power of a white board and neon signs. If you have a vision to curate certain vibes, go for it, because if you don’t, someone else probably will. Make sure to visit one of Danny & Co.’s location in the UK if you’re ever around, and rock that Stone Island hooligan gear with pride.
This series was made possible by Squire, the premier barbershop POS software. To learn more, hit up getsquire.com.
Written by Matt Peng
Interview conducted by Curvel Baptiste
Transcription by Olivia Hawkins
Produced by Madeline Carpentiere
Photos via Danny Robinson/Danny & Co.