After a varied career with many twists and turns, Michael Weymouth has found his true calling. He has taken the entrepreneurial leap and opened his own barbershop in downtown Oakland. This has proved to be professionally rewarding and has given him the flexibility he needs as a single father of a 6 year old daughter. As Michael says, “This is the best job I’ve had since I left the Philippines. It provides the perfect set-up to be a dad and to bring in income.”
Michael turned to Women, Work, and Community for business counseling just as he was finishing his cosmetology training in Waterville. He credits WWC with helping him focus on researching the demographics of the area and documenting the competition he was up against. It was very clear to him that a regular salon was not a wise choice. On the other hand, many of the local barbers were retiring or leaving the area, so there was room for that service. “I got the data to see what I needed to do,” he comments. “I was able to get underway before the market got saturated with other barbers.”
After serving his 6 month apprenticeship with an experienced barber, Michael found a perfect location and opened in May, 2012. While he didn’t have a lot of money to get underway, he was able to put in a lot of sweat equity to renovate the space and pull together the resources that were available. One of the keys to growing his client base has been a large sandwich board sign and a huge “open” flag. People notice his location!
My goals are to have more clients each day,” he says. It surely won’t be long before his schedule is full.