Barber does what he loves
BY ALICE THOMAS
It’s not the best job or the one that pays the best, but it’s a job and an opportunity to do what he loves.
It all started when he developed a keen interest in haircuts and hairdressing just looking at a barber in a barbershop when he got his hair cut and from there he decided to acquire skills and navigate with the opportunities that came with it.
Joey Francis, 22, from the Southern Highlands and Western Highlands province, is now a senior hairdresser at NK’s Saloon in Goroka.
Joey learned to cut hair in 2017 when he was in ninth grade.
“I went to a salon for the first time to have my hair cut and just seeing the way the barber cut my hair I was so amazed and wished I could have done the same.”
Shortly after his haircut, Joey bought a clipper with the money he had saved for lunch and experimented with his new hobby on one of his cousin’s hair.
“I also watched a lot of YouTube videos from my phone to hone my skills.”
Eventually, the boys in his street and town started to notice his cousin’s thin haircut styles and paid him to do their hair.
âThe word went around town and I had more clients getting my hair done and soon a salon owner called me to come and work in his store.â
He started working with a local SME, Styles and Smiles Saloon in Mt Hagen.
He was fortunate to be trained by a professional hairdresser visiting from Australia.
“Now I consider myself lucky to be professionally trained and to have a paper to open doors to pursue my passion and career in the fashion industry.”
In his workplace, Joey is always flexible and reliable.
âI dress and do both men and women, children and expatriates as well.
âI modify and create my own styles to give greater customer satisfaction and make my bosses happy,â he said.
In no time, Joey had become a popular hairstylist in Mt Hagen and many other salons wanted him to work for them, but he stuck with Styles and Smiles.
In January 2021, he received an offer from another SME, NK Saloon in Goroka for a senior hairdresser position.
Joey believes that life is not just about achieving a high level of education to be happy and successful in life.
âMy encouragement, especially for young people, when an opportunity presents itself in life, take it. When you do something with your life, whether it’s being a security guard, going to school, or gardening, do it with passion to see results.
For now, Joey says he’s proud of what he does, but dreams of owning his own business.
“I have my goals and hope to become my own boss soon.”