Popular barber opens Michel Gendron ‘H and M Barber Shop’ on Market Street |20 January 2023
● ‘I have made many sacrifices over the past 20 years’
Market Street welcomed a new addition to its usual hustle and bustle at the turn of the new year, as veteran barber Michel Gendron finally opened his eagerly anticipated barber shop in the new Soho Complex, opposite Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market in Victoria.
From his humble beginnings as a young man ‒ cutting the hair of his two brothers, father, close friends and cousins ‒ Mr Gendron, who, along with fellow barber and friend Herbert Suzette, previously worked at Daniel’s Barber Shop in Victoria, is now fulfilling a decades-long dream, with the opening of H and M Barber Shop.
“When I was a child, my mum used to cut my hair with scissors. One day, she bought some hair clippers. She started cutting and I said: ‘Let me try!’ That’s how I got into this line of work. It has been nearly 20 years since I have been cutting men’s hair in town. I worked for three years at a barber shop in La Poudrière, before moving to Daniel’s Barber Shop, where I worked for over 15 years alongside Herbert.
“It has been a few years since I have been reflecting on opening my own place, but I was waiting for the right location. I was lucky enough to find my new space in the Soho Complex – a new building right in the heart of Market Street ‒ which is the perfect location. Opening my own place is a dream come true. My hope is that I can stay here for the rest of my days in business,” said Mr Gendron.
Commenting on the life of a barber and becoming a new business owner, Mr Gendron said: “The life of a barber requires a lot of sacrifices. I often start at 6am and can finish work as late as 6.30pm. I have a family to provide for. When you’re a barber, all your time is here on this floor. You have to be ready to put in the time, to stand all day, to work long hours; you have to be dedicated to it.
“Everything happens in its own time in life; you have to be patient. Yes, I work hard, but there are people who have helped me along my journey. I don’t need to mention names, but they know who they are. I wake up early everyday and I do my prayers. God has to be with you, always. You have to make a lot of sacrifices in order to realise your dreams, and I have made many sacrifices over the past 20 years.”
Mr Gendron paid homage to his loyal clientèle, by citing them as the inspiration for the conception and opening of H and M Barber Shop.
“In the same way that people rarely change their doctor, it is very similar with men in particular and their barber! Much like a doctor might prescribe the same medicine to a returning patient, we are also offering that same level of familiarity with our clients.
“My clients are very happy with the new space; actually, this place was done for them, not for me! My clients come from different walks of life. You name it ‒ mothers and fathers bringing their children, teenagers, adults – everyone is welcome at H and M Barber Shop. We’re really trying to create a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment here. You need to know how to talk to people in this line of work, and you need to have respect for everyone that walks through the door. When mothers bring their children to cut their hair, for example, you need to make sure that the conversations we are having and the music we are playing are appropriate and respectful. Respecting my clients is very important to me. Without our clients, we are nothing.”
Alongside H and M Barber Shop’s traditional men’s haircutting services, Mr Gendron has also reserved a dedicated space for a female hairdresser, to offer services in braiding, dreadlocks, hair-washing and hair-dying for women.
Commenting on the legacy that he hopes H and M Barber Shop will create, Mr Gendron said:
“In the future, I’d like the name H and M to stay here forever. I’d love the name to grow and flourish; much like a small baby. I want H and M to be a longstanding brand; much like those brands that have been around since the 1800s. As generations come and go, my hope is that – even when I leave this Earth – H and M will remain.
“My family is happy. I am proud that I am living up to my responsibility as a husband and as a father to my nine-year-old boy, and that I can put food on the table for my family in a way that is respectable and honest,” added Mr Gendron.
H and M Barber Shop is now open for business, and is located on the first floor of the Soho Complex on Market Street.
Article contributed by CTF Consultancy