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.
We stay across the Atlantic this week to talk with Kevin Luchmun, someone who’s been in the game for over two decades. The founder and owner of Luchmun Studios operates the space in a similar fashion to fellow Brit, Hayden Cassidy. Like many, Kevin started cutting hair fairly young for the homies and then realized that it was a viable way to make money and enjoyable at the same time. He went on to grow his experience working in a barbershop, then moving on to do wonderous things for TONI&GUY before opening up with own creative space for a brand new challenge. As a photographer and the Andis International Artistic Team Lead, we’ll let him tell you how to step outside of the barbershop and expand your horizons.
Kevin’s career has been so long and fruitful that it’s hard to summarize in a paragraph. We’re going to let the barber, hairdresser, stylist, educator, photographer, entrepreneur explain the last 20 years for you.
The secret sauce for any entrepreneur is what Kevin talked about in the last sentence, always learning and always adapting. As someone who’s worked as both a barber and hairdresser, Kevin breaks down the differences for everyone and goes into how exactly barbers have elevated haircuts to be more personal and educational than ever before.
“That’s the one major thing I would always say, make sure that you’re happy. And if you don’t enjoy doing something, don’t do it. You know, we have a choice to do something. We have a choice to say yes, we have a choice to say no.”
Having dabbled and sat atop a big name brand and then having to start all over with his own business, Kevin has a very distinct view on branding — something timeless. He gives examples of brands like Chanel and Dior and references that you’re paying for the experience that it took to reach the final product — whether it be a bag, haircut, photo or anything else.
Another huge commonality between Kevin a lot of entrepreneurs, especially our Brand Masters, is their understanding that you can’t wing it. You have to always be prepared. It’s just like Danny Robinson says, your mind and body have to come correct for work along with your image. However, Kevin also adds that creativity can change from day-to-day, what you want one day might not be true the next. You still have to be open to taking ideas and working with people as a team, so surround yourself with the best.
Every single business, whether a conglomerate or mom and pop have faced challenges during COVID-19. Kevin left a stable job at TONI&GUY where he was basically the top dog and started his own studio right before the pandemic hit. He could’ve given up and called it quits at that point but he wanted the challenge and had the ambition to get it done properly and as he envisioned it. It’s like Chico Boom said, trust your vision, never give up and keep working. Listen in to Kevin talk about overcoming what people had to say and tapping into his network — something Willis the Barber knows all about.
“When you get complacent, you get lazy. When you get lazy, you stop delivering what needs delivering.”
The pandemic was also a blessing in disguise because Kevin realized he could balance his passion and love for hair while still tackling photography and creative endeavors as his main job.
He also understands how much work the future holds but won’t neglect his own mental health, fitness and spending time with family and loved ones.
As someone who misses educating people, Kevin drops a lot of dimes in terms of advice for the next generation looking to break into the business successfully. He talks about the correct mindset entering into a barber competition, and knowing how to stay in your lane and trusting in the process.
We want to give a big shoutout to Kevin. He’s someone who decided to take on the challenge of starting his own business during a global pandemic while leaving behind a cushy position. That’s the true spirit and drive that an entrepreneur needs to succeed.
Kevin will be teaching a creative haircutting course in London on Halloween. Check out the snippet below and head over to kevinluchman.com/education to sign up!
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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 Kevin Luchman