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April 1, 2024

Barber Student Spotlight: Meet Saul

In the ever-evolving barber industry, talent and dedication are the cornerstones of success. Today, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on one of our own—a barber student whose passion and promise have not only earned them a scholarship but also positioned them as a future leader in our industry. 

In September of 2023, Pivot Point Academy | Wahl Barber Academy partnered with Beauty with a Purpose to announce a chance for one barber student and one cosmetology student to both be awarded a full-tuition scholarship. Our candidates submitted a written application and video application, explaining why they should be recognized as a leader within the industry. We were looking for candidates who have the capability and passion to become a contributor to the beauty industry going forward. This person would demonstrate high potential of leadership, be willing to become a role model for other beauty professionals, and demonstrate creativity and willingness to show up. 

After a long process of collecting applications and working with our expert industry panel to find our two winners, it was ultimately decided that the future leader representing Wahl Barber Academy would be Saul Espinosa.  

Saul is a student in the barbering program of Wahl Barber Academy, starting November 2023. But his journey exploring the industry stretches long before he walked through the doors of our academy. We asked him what steps he took to get to the point of contacting us for help jumpstarting his barbering career.  

“Everything happens for a reason, and it’s part of a big plan. Before I even applied for Wahl Barber Academy, I was searching for schools, and I did have experience using Wahl clippers. So when I seen that Wahl was part of this academy, I was shocked. There’s a Wahl school? I was super stoked when I came for my tour. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. All the years I’ve been cutting hair has been secretly molding me for this moment.”  

Passion for barbering often finds its roots in the simplest of ways. For many, this love for the craft begins at a young age, perhaps watching a family member get a cut or experimenting with friends’ hair in the backyard. What starts as a hobby evolves into a passion, driving individuals to pursue formal training, hone their skills, and eventually carve out a career in the barber industry. Taking that leap of faith and turning a “hobby” into a career doesn’t always come easy, and Saul shares his own experience. 

 “I was my own biggest challenge. I was influenced by the environment I was in, and never really thought for myself. This is the first time I’m putting faith in my skills. Before this, honestly, I was bored. I thought to myself that this isn’t how I want to live my life. I always had in the back of my mind that I could pick up haircutting as a secondary thing, like a hobby on the side.  I never thought of it as a real career until I started school, and I was introduced to what’s actually out there. It helped me come to the conclusion that I really do love cutting hair.”  

Taking that journey to believe in your skills is a courageous step towards aligning passion with purpose. It’s a commitment to wholeheartedly invest in something you love, transforming it from a pastime into a livelihood that brings fulfillment and meaning to your everyday life!  

 

“I’ve been cutting hair nonstop. I’ve had countless jobs that I’ve ended up leaving, but I always found myself coming back to cutting hair.

My friends and family have always believed that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to. They believe in the person that they saw me as. I’ve heard it more than once from people. They would tell me I was going to be a successful person one day. I was always taken aback. I know sometimes people can see things in you more clearly than you can see them in yourself. It took time for me to realize that as well. I think that realization finally came to me when I started this school.” 

Choosing the right barber school sets the stage for honing your skills and unlocking your full potential. With experienced instructors, hands-on training, and a supportive learning environment, the right school equips you with the knowledge and confidence to thrive in the competitive world of barbering. By investing in your education at the right institution, you lay the foundation for becoming the successful and accomplished barber you aspire to be. We asked Saul what has been remarkable about his experience at Wahl Barber Academy.

“I was already coming into school excited to learn, but there was one specific day that resonates with me. It was the day before our holiday break – we usually had three students in my class, but this specific day, it was just me and my teacher Mr. Ken in the classroom. We sat down and watched the Leo Passage documentary. It was a day I know I’ll never forget. 

Mr. Ken was explaining everything in the video; all the people, and how much he loves this school and loves teaching. It just gave me a taste of his passion and why he likes it so much. I’m thankful for him for bestowing that feeling on me, without realizing it, I’m sure. I was super focused, and the fire was there in me. In that moment, like in sports, that feeling when you’re doing so good you feel like you can do anything. You’re unstoppable. That really meant a lot to me that he was explaining every little clip, every person, and what the backstory was on that, and how this school came to be. It made me even more proud and more excited to be a part of it.”

Pushing yourself to succeed in school means staying focused on your goals, staying organized, and staying determined. At Wahl Barber Academy, we believe your hard work now will pave the way for future opportunities and accomplishments.

“Coming into school, I already had barbering experience, and I thought I was doing an OK job. Until I met the wonderful teachers here, and they showed me so much more. I saw that I could be even better than I had imagined. Even something as simple as having an eye out to learn new skills. This one time, my teacher, Mr. Ken, did this little trick with his comb, and I just picked up on it. I asked him about it later, and he didn’t realize I saw him doing it. What keeps me going is just the willingness to keep on learning and evolving.”

Motivating yourself to start a new career is about embracing change and believing in your ability to succeed.  Every journey begins with a single step, and with determination and perseverance, you can embark on a fulfilling new career path. Saul explained the mindset he needed to have to find the courage to take on this challenge. 

“For the longest time, when I was working at the job I had before starting school, it was a habit for me to listen to music in my earphones. One day I realized, why don’t I just listen to motivational speeches?  I heard one that says the more times you hear the right information on repeat, the more it will manifest itself. The more your body is going to resonate with that. Your moment will come. And I’ve been listening to those speeches on repeat since that day. 

Now every morning for the whole time I’ve been here at school, I play them in the car on the way here. Even though I already know what they’re going to say. I feel like we need to always keep reminding ourselves that there’s greatness awaiting us.”

Saul with Wahl Barber Academy team, Managing Partner and Co-Owner Denise Provenzano, Senior Vice President of Professional Sales and Marketing at Wahl Clipper Corporation Lance Wahl

When Wahl Barber Academy opened the scholarship opportunity, our mission was finding someone who shared the same ideals: that being a leader means not only inspiring and guiding others towards a common goal but also embodying integrity, empathy, and accountability in every action. It’s about fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and growth while empowering those around you to reach their fullest potential. 

 

“What really ignited the fire in me was to keep on pushing myself to become better than I was yesterday. 

One day I was meeting with Michelle, the academy director. After our meeting, as I was stepping out, she told me: “Saul, you’re going to be a teacher one day.” Ever since that day, I’ve been more aware of my environment, and I’ve noticed that many of my classmates see me as a reference point too. Like a teacher. They always ask me questions about haircuts, or how should they do this or that, or what’s my opinion on a certain haircut. I’ve never realized how much I love helping and sharing what I know. I don’t know, it wasn’t in my plans to be a teacher. But ever since Michelle said that, I’ve become more aware.”  

 

Finding qualities in yourself is like uncovering hidden treasures within. Taking time to reflect on your experiences, strengths, and areas for growth is how it begins. Embracing your unique traits with confidence. We are proud to watch Saul grow and slowly begin realizing the potential within himself. 

Sports Clips opened a competition for student barbers to submit photos of their work, for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Nashville, TN, to their annual company convention. Saul was chosen as one of six winners, and we asked him his secret to continued success.  

“When my teacher put information about the competition onto the classroom screen, I just went in complete tunnel vision mode, and just zoomed in on it and read all the details. It was a sense of drive that I had to apply for this. I started working on it right away. I set up the lighting, the backdrop, asked my friends to wear their best clothes like they were going on a date.

I did 5 different models and asked the opinions of my teachers which one was the best to enter. Each of my friends have different haircuts and different styles. Funny enough, the first model I did was the one I submitted.”

Saul with Sports Clips Field Leaders

So we asked Saul, what’s next?  

 “The original plan for me, was I wanted to open my own barbershop. But after coming to this school and learning the limitless possibilities that this industry has to offer, I feel like I am meant to do more than just own my own shop. 

Right now, I don’t know what the future has in store for me. Because of the many doors and opportunities I’ve opened for myself that I honestly didn’t expect. But I do know I’m excited for what’s to come. 

It’s a weird sensation, but I’m not worried about it, because I know it’s going to come to me. I don’t know when, but it’s going to show itself to me.”