As you know, I love meeting new people. I think it’s why I enjoy my blog so much. I enjoy conversation with folk I don’t really know. There’s always something to learn and always tears and laughs to be had. It’s all about the connection for me. If you’ve got a life story or a talent or passion you’d like to share. Just hit me up on Instagram @bruceinthecity Facebook Bruce Christopher or by email email@example.com and office 4163038548.
Here’s a guy who’s living the dream. Nick Folco is hooking up dudes with badass hairstyling that even your mother will love. Take a moment to meet this Bearded Barber.
Bruce: When did you get the calling to be a tonsorial artist?
Nick: I was actually just kind of in the right place at the right time sort of thing. My good friends Jerry Filice and Ryan Baker opened a shop called Village Cigar Company & Barbershop. I was very unhappy, at the time, with my job as skateboard buyer. One night after a hockey game we had played together, we got to chatting, and they mentioned they were looking for new barbers that would fit the mold they had created. They looked my way and said I was a perfect fit; I just needed to learn the trade. I took the information home and chatted with my wife about it. She thought it was a very cool idea and thought I would be a lot happier every day doing something this cool, day in and day out. So I quit my day job and got a part-time job to help pay bills, and when I wasn’t there, I was in the barbershop learning everything I could and doing all the grunt work in the shop.
Bruce: What inspired you to pursue barbering?
Nick: My inspiration came from a place of pure struggle. I didn’t like the life I was living. Driving to Toronto from Milton or Burlington every day. It really wears a person down, especially when you get there and hate the job you’re doing and who you’re doing it for. Once I got to see my mentor, John Courtney, do his thing up close and personal, I was motivated and driven like I had never been. I love seeing a big head of hair come in and get chopped down into something a lot cleaner.
Bruce: How do you see this trade? Creatively? Technically? Stepping stone? Women and Gay men magnet? You know everyone thinks hip barbers are the new black?
Nick: This trade is a massive creative outlet. It keeps the brain going. Each and every head of hair is different, and clients usually want things done a little differently. They don’t want to look like every other guy or girl out there. I think this trade has become so massive, in the past bunch of years, that it has opened the doors to a lot of people who may not have known they wanted to do something like this until they got the chance to try it. Much like myself, because of being offered this job, by some friends, I have told a ton of people just try it or come by and watch a couple of cuts and see what you think. But know this, this skill won’t just be there for you, it takes time and patience, and you have to work for it.
Bruce: Speaking of which? Married? Single? Triage? Wink wink nudge nudge!
Nick: Hahaha, I am married for three years now to my best friend before our marriage. We have two beautiful girls together, and it has been the craziest ride, but I love it, and my girls are my world!
Bruce: Wow! I threw up in my mouth a little. Where do you see the industry in the 10 years? Beards in? Beards out? Buzz in! Buzz out!?
Nick: I think this industry will be even larger in 5 years! We have so many world-famous barbers out there, pushing knowledge and tips and tricks. It can only go up from here. Beards will always be in. I believe it’s all personal preference. Styles will change here and there, but the classics never fade!
Bruce: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Nick: I would like to see myself owning my own shop someday. Somewhere I can cut hair a few days a week and have a couple of other things for people to look at while at my shop would be great.
Bruce: Very sexy! I mean cool! I’d like a few pics of your favourite cuts. What are your three favourite cuts?
Nick: If I had to choose three favourites, I love a clean tapered outside part. Slick backs were always a challenge of mine in the beginning, but I reached out to a few artists for help and got some amazing tips that helped me greatly, so those have become number 2. And lastly, I love to work on a messy textured look. This again was something I wasn’t fully comfortable doing in the beginning, so I went to a couple of classes where one of my favourite barbers, Marty Conrad, did a lot of texture work and showed the class how it’s done.
Bruce: Do you know where I can get some great poppers? I’m just kidding!!
Nick: 180 Bar and Restaurant had some great jalapeño poppers!! Check em out!
Bruce: SWEET! Tell me a bit about your relationship and career here, at Providence!
Nick: Providence was again one of those things where I have been very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Over the past bunch of years, I have networked with some amazing people and made great friendships. One of them being my good buddy, Kyle Mcdonald, who did a lot of the branding and logo work for Providence. He called me one day, while I was living in Hamilton, and looking for a change and told me Mike Watt, his buddy, was opening a new shop, and they needed a barber. I was unsure about it at first, due to the big move, and not knowing much about Peterborough. I hopped on the phone with Mike, and we hit it off immediately. It was like we had been friends for a very long time. After I hung up the phone, my wife Kirstley had a big smile on her face, and I asked her, are we moving to Peterborough, and she said, let’s do it. Mike is a great mentor to me. I explained to him that I eventually want to open up my own shop, and he told me if I helped him get set up and running, he will help me. Learning from someone who’s run a successful business for over 20 years, how could I say no? Mike and his crew welcomed us with open arms and have all become our family so quickly. It made our transition super easy.
Bruce: Can you recommend a good beard balm and oil?
Nick: I don’t use a lot of beard oil myself, but my clients love the Dapper Oil we sell at Providence, and I know that the brand Victory has a great oil. Both made of great essential oils. I’m a big beard balm guy. I find the beard wash from Bluebeard Original and Crown Shaving Co. Beard balm works for me. This stuff is all personal preference. Find the right product that works best for your hair and skin.
Bruce: I’ll have to check them out! Thanks so much for hanging out and doing me this afternoon. Bad readers! Bad! We’re talking hair here! My readers are crazy little critters. I just know they and myself would love a couple of tantalizing facts about you outside of your professional world. So spill it.
Nick: Thank you so much for coming in for a cut. It was so great meeting you. We had a great chat. You made it very easy to keep a conversation going. I’m not usually that good at talking!! I don’t know about tantalizing, but I honestly am such a homebody. I love to put on some Taylor Swift or Panic At The Disco, with my oldest daughter, and have dance parties in our living room. I’m a horrible dancer, so it’s the only place you’ll catch me doing this. I love a good cigar. I have a few while I golf all summer, and then I put the clubs away and bring out the hockey sticks for the winter. I learned how to make syrup this year and will be doing much more of it in the future. I had a ton of fun collecting sap and boiling it all down to its final form. I’m just a regular average dude, I guess, haha.
Bruce: It’s been a pleasure. I’m certain you’ll be getting a hold of my head in the not so distant future! Thanks again, Nick Folco, you’re badass. And Happy Holidays!
Article by Bruce Christopher
Editor & Publicist: Bruce Law
Hair exclusively by Nick Folco @ Providence Peterborough.
Not to readers:
After interviewing Barber Nick Folco. He has become my official tonsorial and I couldn’t be more happy!