This week were “In the Chair With” Kevin Vorley talking about His current projects, His Team and his love for the Industry.
KEVIN THANKS FOR AGREEING TO DO THE “IN THE CHAIR WITH” FEATURE. NOT EVERYONE IN THE GROUP WILL KNOW WHO YOU ARE CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF PLEASE?
Hi, and firstly may I thank you for inviting me to partake in this interview. So, I am Kevin Vorley, a Master Craftsman in UK Barbering, the proud founder and owner of the multi award winning K Barbers Emporium in Leigh on Sea Essex, a ‘full on’ working shop floor barber, an international platform artist, Barber educator and business net-worker for over 8 years now, and a proud ambassador for the MHFED team.
I am proud and honored to have received many awards from both the Industry and for Business during my career to date.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN THE INDUSTRY FOR AND WHAT FIRST PROMPTED YOU TO LOOK AT A CAREER IN MEN’S HAIRDRESSING?
Having now had two decades of experience in high end barbering, I entered the barbering Industry via starting out hairdressing in London back in the 90’s.
I moved into men’s barbering specifically, when offered an opportunity via a mutual friend, to work and learn alongside Roger Wigmore as he started out his then new venture, WIGGIES barbershop in Essex, many moons ago now.
Roger and I still share our early experiences with great fondness when we meet up at the big UK salon event
KEVIN YOU’RE PROMOTING A FEW BRANDS AT THE MOMENT, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE K BRAND AND IN PARTICULAR THE K’KOLABORATION PROJECT PLEASE?
Well… firstly I am proud to be part of the Andis UK and international clipper team now coming into my 5th consecutive year, and really enjoy presenting and educating for them on the big seminar stages.
The K brand, is my own proud innovation, and all-encompassing under ‘The K way!’ – which started at the K Barbers Emporium in 2007, when we opened the doors to this unique progressive barbershop and created a new professional image of high street barbering, with the client always first in mind.
We have created an evolving movement of Pro Tailored Barbering, together with a strong and full K product range that support the work we produce, bespoke K Education ‘up skill’ training programs, for both experienced and less experienced barbers, (all my wonderful K’team are K trained!), brought together with a great culture, passion, direction and progressive view to delivering the best experience to the client and delivering a clear career with direction for the barber too.
I recently produced an innovating and unique K’project- the K Kolaboration, inviting barbers with a pre-qualified level of experience, to come alongside and work and learn alongside myself, and my team in our busy Emporium over 3 days, the result of the project was amazing.
Sharing ideas and skills with each other, bringing UK barbering together under the house of K.
This was followed by reflective testimonials by the participants, ( -an ‘all lady’ Kolaborator team first time around), sharing their views and experience of the time with us. It produced both positive and inspiring great feedback from both sides of the teams, and something I hope to repeat next year, as we attempt to bring the K way across the UK, one snip at a time!
KEVIN SHOULD ANY OF OUR READERS BE INTERESTED WILL THEIR BE ANY MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO JOIN SINDI, LOU, ALISON AND LESLEY IN THE K HALL OF FAME?
The Kolaboration was like a juggernaut! It was fast, exciting and fantastic. 4 barbers in 4 weeks!
The first Kolaboration team, deliberately consisted of 4 very different barbers, with a view to develop, inspire and progress them all through the K experience.
I would love to hear from barbers around the UK who feel they have what it takes to become an honorary member of the K team, next summer for the project!
All the barbers came away more confident, experienced and energy filled following the 3 days each. So talented barbers who wish to be part of it next year, please come and see me at Salon International in October, or inbox me with their details so we can talk.
The next stage will be a possible mini UK tour of ‘the K Way’, early next year- as we invite barbering And Salon teams to have myself with them for 1 day and either train behind closed doors or work alongside their teams for the day on the shop floor, with a plan of 4 venues in 4 days in different UK regions. So please be free to inbox me for details.
KEVIN YOU HAVE WHAT LOOKS LIKE A GOOD TEAM AROUND YOU, TELL US MORE ABOUT JON, KEELY, BEN AND LEE AND WHAT ATTRIBUTES YOU LOOK FOR WHEN RECRUITING NEW STAFF.
What can I say, My K Team are wonderful. They’re all a big part of the K success story so far.
Jon was part of the Faltricks’ academy team and was initially Sassoon trained, coming into barbering 2 years ago with over 12 years in the industry. A talented, great barber with solid foundations, – who is a key part of the planned growth of K Barbers.
Keely is currently, our only female member of the team, with over 15 years industry experience, joining K Barbers in 2012, an inspiring talented member of the team, proving that female barbers make a big difference to the business.
Ben is an amazing barber, with 6 years industry experience and someone who has evolved under the house of K, with ideas and talent and part of the team for just over a year now.
Finally Lee, our newest barber on the chair following a completed apprenticeship last year, He has a great future with us, showing growth and confidence every day, after now 2 years with the team.
We are always looking for new talent, so who knows- whoever is reading this could be part of my K’ team one day too!
SO WE SEE YOU’RE A STATE REGISTERED SENIOR BARBER, WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE BEHIND THIS AND HOW DOES IT HELP YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL IN THE INDUSTRY?
Being state registered, is simply a personal and positive choice to be recognised as professional and accountable, and I feel, a way towards implementing professional licensing in the future for barbers in our diverse industry.
Having also received the first Master Craftsman award in Essex from the Hair Council, it assists in both business and client confidence going forward, with a client base of over 4000 now and rising.
It is nice to be regarded as both progressive and professional in my business and the Industry, and has endorsed my credibility, so why wouldn’t anyone not wish to become registered if you love what you do and wish to be recognized for what you stand for?
WE SEE YOU AND YOUR TEAM HAVE A NUMBER OF TEACHING AN ASSESSING QUALIFICATIONS AND WE UNDERSTAND YOU DELIVER OUTSOURCED EDUCATION & TRAINING, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT’S ON OFFER PLEASE?
All my K team, have been selected meticulously, and all have been through barbering NVQ qualifications before and continuously during their chair time with me. I and Jon are qualified assessors, although we encourage outsourced assessors to mark our NVQ barbers in house.
The standards are always there to be followed, improved and progressed.
K education to us, is the key to bringing confidence, understanding and progression to the K staff, not just how to cut hair, but filling in the Why, the What and the How we do things consistently and continuously.
I am now looking to provide bespoke K training for any Salon and Barber teams around the UK, that wish to ‘up skill’ their teams, chair performance, and develop their business further.
Having had lots of great experiences, in both teams, and stage education shared and great feedback from many teams in the past few years, I always look forward to receiving enquiries for this type of outsourced work. So Embrace new ideas and develop your chair! There is always something we can all improve on…
SO KEVIN IF YOU HAD A CRYSTAL BALL AND YOU COULD LOOK IN THE FUTURE WHAT DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY HOLDS FOR US ALL?
There is an abundance of talent coming through and new boundaries being broken all the time in UK Barbering. With the introduction of social media formats, we can all share and learn like never before.
It is so exciting for all in the industry.
The industry must however work together and share knowledge further and unify in order to raise the standards across the board for all.
Trade Shows and seminars bring people together socially and put a person behind the faces you see- this social aspect is also in my view, very important, as we all need to connect to understand one another more, and respect what we have all achieved and are sharing.
The MHFED, is bringing great talent through and guiding them with experienced hands and I’m proud to be part of the ambassador team involved with this innovative direction for the Men’s industry.
Products and tools are getting better every day, international shows are more regular and held throughout the UK and throughout the year now, with plenty of opportunities for all to attend and learn more, accelerating the Industry at a rate never seen before.
WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST ABOUT THE INDUSTRY KEVIN AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE IT BETTER?
I love this industry, and have had up to date, an amazing career, achieving many things, experiencing many different situations put in front of me, and meeting many great people along the way.
Social media, is so powerful in both image sharing views and opinions openly, and all positive in most occasions. However it can also become a poison chalice, if misused and misinterpreted, so I feel that social media training in house for our teams would be a positive addition to the industry and this is now so important with brand awareness prevalent.
SO WERE DRAWING TO THE END OF THE INTERVIEW KEVIN BUT BEFORE WE GO, WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND THE TEAM AT K BARBERS?
It’s been another busy year, it’s going so fast!
I have salon International in London, with the MHFED and the Andis teams, so I’m preparing my stage participation as we speak.
The K team and I are very busy on the shop floor as our client base increases and the K word is spread further afield daily- for which we are truly thankful.
K Education is now key to growth, maybe the next outlet soon and a K Academy to go with this as we progress to our 9th year in business.
Meanwhile, the virtual K academy is my focus outside of the shop, travelling to bring K education to you in salons and barbershops around the UK in 2016.
So I would welcome enquires for availability and what we offer in terms of outsourced training and any employment opportunities within K Barbers in the future as we grow.
Thank you for interest and I hope to see you all at Salon International next month, please come and say Hi! At the Andis stage and the MHFED stages too.
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