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.
Heading down the East Coast this week, we hit up the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) and check in with Daraile Cunningham or as everyone knows him, Munchy The Barber. A celebrity barber that’s been in the game for over a decade, Munchy has used his nickname to create a unique brand that is recognizable from coast to coast and he’s even been on Black Ink. He knows firsthand that leading by example is the best way to run a shop and that influencing others in a positive manner brings up the entire team.
Munchy realized early on that he had a catchy name that was easy to brand itself. Like all our Brand Masters, he focused on an authentic vision that was uniquely his own. For him that meant bright colors that popped, specifically green and yellow. Munchy wanted something that was instantly eye-catching and attractive in his brand colors and in the hair art that he did for others.
“We can all win before you make the decision ‘If this is what you really want to do. Is this something for you?’ Because we have a passion here.”
On top of something that was unique, Munchy stresses the importance of networking and knowing how to communicate to different crowds. Whether at a restaurant or with his Jeep-loving crowd, you need to know how to truly link and build — by asking for the person at the top.
Munchy’s business relies on social media and its ability to sell us a product subconsciously. He understands the power of influence and is very much self-aware. Knowing that he has the ability to be a cultural driver in the barber space, he is relentless in trying to reinvent himself each time he steps behind the chair. Never settle, always get better. At the same time, keep your social media clean and have a clear message because you never know who will stumble upon your page.
Munchy learned the hard way that planning is extremely difficult to do. He tells us about a time he tried to put on his own barber competition and the difficulties he faced in logistics and communications. Overcoming those challenges is why he loves to lead by example and by doing.
Learning from the mistakes of planning an event, Munchy understood that in his barbershop, the tone of leadership and leading by example was the key to success. But you can only help someone so much, they have to be willing to put in the work themselves.
“Gradual, the way I work, it’s already set every week. It’s the same thing. It never changes. Unless I have to be out of town. My schedule is pretty much the same and we will rock. We will have a good time.”
Leading by example, consistent work ethic and networking will eventually lead to great things and Munchy was humbly asked to take part in the TV series Black Ink, something he kept on the low. For him, staying humble and being appreciative of every opportunity is how you maintain great relationships and continue to build your own brand.
Understanding the importance of physical and mental health as a barber and creative, Munchy is collaborating with Live Chair Health and encouraging people to get checkups. It’s especially important to take care of yourself during a pandemic as a barber since they service others and in a sense, act as a therapist to many.
Munchy The Barber keeps it real and that’s what any aspiring entrepreneur should do. Lead by example and stay humble in the process. Hit him up if you’re ever in the DMV area.
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 Munchy The Barber