Father-son barbershop teams have long been prominent in the world of barbering. Fathers who are barbers have historically tended to pass on their knowledge and love of the art of barbering to their sons so that they can work in the shop as they grow older, and ultimately take over the barbershop when the father passes it down to his son.
In the case of Esquire Barber Shop in Hampton Roads, Virginia, owner Vernard Lynch taught his twin boys the art of barbering with this same intention. Lynch says that he wanted to teach his sons the skill of barbering “in case they ever needed it.” He has owned the Esquire Barber Shop since 1961 and has been teaching his sons every aspect of running a barber shop business. Sweeping up hair, trimming hair and cleaning sinks were just a few of the tasks that Lynch first taught to his sons. His sons, Dernard and Raynard, wake up every morning at 5 a.m. in order to get in the barber shop by 7 a.m. The two boys have masters degrees in finance and architecture, yet both boys have chosen the barbering profession over working in either industry. They find that spending time with their father and meeting with clientele is a much more fulfilling experience for them.
Fathers are also teaching their sons the art of barbering in other parts of the country. In Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Joseph Livecchi has been training his son to take over the family barbering business at the Royal Barber Service. The barber had practiced with his own father until his father passed away at the age of 81. Livecchi still has the money his father earned from cutting hair for two clients that week. After 30 years as a solo barber, Livecchi is ready to enter into another partnership with a family member. This time, his own son will be entering the profession with him. Livecchi’s son had been a practicing musician until the age of 35, when he decided it was time to join his father in the barbershop. Livecchi is ready to pass on the family business to his son Thomas when he retires, and trust that it will be in good hands if he were to pass away. He has a positive outlook on the experience of passing on the barbershop, as he says, it is a “relief” to know his son will be handling the business.
On to Missoula, Montana, the trend of passing on the family barber shop is apparent. The Zotnick family is one example of a family that has continually passed on a barber shop for many generations. Jack Zotnick has carried on the tradition of the Zotnick Barber Shop that began in 1931. His daughter, Karen Callahan, has been studying the mechanics of the barber business. After practicing as a dental assistant for five years, Callahan felt the urge to join her father in the barbering world. She has been working in partnership ever since making the career transition.
The world of barbering is well-known for men passing the family business down to their sons, and increasingly, daughters as well. It is a reputable, respectable family trade that communities come to love and trust. Passing down the barbershop from generation to generation in a family not only provides tradition and stability to the family, but it also provides stability to customers and the community. We hope to see this tradition continue for many years to come.