The Business of Barbering is a new series that not only explains how to succeed in the barber industry, but all of the intricacies associated with being a barber, owner, creative and entrepreneur. We speak to those on the front lines so that you can dive in head first into the barbering industry and be set up for success.
Putting aside the New York and Boston rivalry, if you’re ever in the city of Boston, there’s one barbershop you should trust with your precious hair, and that’s MOBAR. Founded and run by Candido “Coco” Fernandez, MOBAR has been a staple in the community since 2016.
The go-to guy for pro athletes on the hometown Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots, Coco’s focus on the community and connecting people has set him up for success. ” Being the owner of MOBAR is a pleasure, it’s an honor. As of lately, seeing all of the things that I’ve worked hard for, and all of my visions come to light, it’s made it almost like a, you know, an ideal work experience for me, and I couldn’t be happier,” he told us.
Coco made time in his busy scheduled to chop it up with us and answer 8 key questions about the business of barbering and being an entrepreneur.
First and foremost, how did you get into barbering?
Coco: Well, I started barbering because I was a frequent barbershop visitor. I used to get a haircut once a week, and then a week after I would get a lineup, and sometimes I would get a haircut and a lineup all in the same week. And I used to spend a lot of time in the culture, it would seem like the place where you can figure things out.
It was the place in the city that was the hub. It’s the place in the city where you can go and see fashion, you can go and meet people, you can go and make relationships. So, it seemed like something that a person of my networking capability would really find as a good niche.
What gets you hype?
Some of the things that get me hype can definitely be putting on a nice fit, or going and getting some really good food, something I’ve never had before.
But a lot of the times, seeing other people do well, watching people underneath us that are trying to come up and grow and be just like us in our space…it really makes me enthused when I get to see people putting some of the things that I’ve foreshadowed into motion and watching it come to life.
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As a barber, what inspires you about your community?
As a barber, if we’re talking about the barber community, one of the things that inspires me most is the newfound unity. I feel like the barbershop was a place of competition for so long. And now that everybody’s understanding that there’s so many clients to go around, and there’s so many great, dope, barbers, the community has become strengthened within.
Can you name your go-to hidden gem in your community?
I may be a little biased on this one, but I think the go-to hidden gem in my neighborhood is probably my barbershop, MOBAR. It’s not very visible from the outside, it’s in the middle of a street that’s heavily populated with moving traffic, and the walk-in traffic isn’t out of this world.
So, the only way you’re gonna know about this place is if you’ve heard about this place.
“I think that the biggest element and the biggest key to success is having peace of mind.”
What does self-care mean to you?
To me, self-care is not only physical. I think that self care is respecting your surroundings and understanding who you can be around. I think that self-care ties a lot into what you put into your body, not only your surroundings and energy that you take in, but the food and you know what kind of gives you fuel every day.
Self-care is also the way that you watch your appearance, the way that you react around rooms, the way that you can be around strangers…self-care is anything that has to do with making yourself better and feeling better.
What is the earning potential of a barber like yourself?
An earning potential for a barber…can be anything upwards from $60,000 to 100,000 a year. I think that’s an ideal salary and rate. I think a barber like myself, who is a community pillar and really, you know, is super well-rounded, I don’t think there’s any ceiling for a salary cap.
It all just depends on the moves that you’re willing to make, the risks you’re willing to take, and the things that you’re willing to get behind to align with your brand.
How do you define success?
Success to me is waking up every single day and getting to attack the things that you want, spending time the way that you desire, enjoying time with friends, family, and people in your workspace that drive you and continue to keep you fresh.
I think that the biggest element and the biggest key to success is having peace of mind. And everything that comes in between peace of mind is what you’re structured around, it’s who you’re around, it’s what you’re putting in your body, it’s self-care, it’s every single question that you just asked me, put into one.
What is your number one tip?
My number one tip is to go slow, and do not go by yourself.
What do you think about Coco’s tips for running a barbershop and being an entrepreneur? Drop us a line on Instagram or TikTok with your thoughts and personal experiences, or if you have additional questions you’d like to ask.
If you live in the Boston area or plan to visit, check out MOBAR for yourself.
We look forward to bringing you more segments in this series, so be on the lookout. For those of you who are looking for advice and tips on how to build a brand, learn from the best and check out our Brand Masters series.
Written by Matt Peng
Interview conducted by Julia Poulakos
Transcription by Kayla Carmicheal
Produced by Anna Trinidad
Photos via MOBAR/Coco/Kat Fernandez