MC ELITE: Robert Erasmo

Instagram: @crazykut_classick
Campus: Winnipeg
Program: Hairstyling

Favorite food: burgers and fries
Favorite item in your wardrobe: I love my sneakers…I’m a sneakers kind of guy
Who do you follow on social media? @famos, @juliuscaesar

 

From steel toed boots and hard hats to shears and electric clippers, our December MC Elite goes out to Robert Erasmo from our Winnipeg campus! “Before I realized I even wanted to do it as a career, I was working in construction. One day, I realized that I made more money cutting hair than what I made in construction, and it was something that I really liked doing.” As a new dad and future insta-famous barber, he is excited to start a career he is passionate about. “I’m having a baby next year so I can’t wait to focus on starting a family when school is done. Everything works out for a reason.”

 

What did you choose Hairstyling?

When I was a teenager, I hung around with the wrong crowd. It got me into trouble but that’s my life and you can’t hide it because it’s my story. It’s what made me who I am today. It made me grow up real fast though. During this time, a friend taught me how to cut hair. At first I was doing it to help me get back on my feet. All my friends and their friends and their extended family started asking me to do their hair and I guess it kicked up from there. My family really supported my decision. Hairstyling helped me gain control of my life back.

 

 

What do you like most about the industry?

It doesn’t matter how long you have been doing it or how good you are or how good you think you are, there is always more to learn and that’s good for me because it’s a field that’s always changing. There are always new trends and styles to learn so it can never really get over saturated because each person will have what they are good at.

 

What do you like most about being a student at MC College?

I have learned so much from everyone here and from work experience. My instructors, peers…just everyone I’ve met. The school has not only opened my eyes to what’s available as a stylist but I learned about the professional side too – like how to sell retail and how to engage with clients.

 

 

Who or what motivates you?

My family and friends especially after all that I and they have been through. Sometimes when stuff happens to you, it’s hard to be confident in yourself, be out in the community and pursue your dreams. My family and friends were by my side at each step and really encouraged and motivated me. They are the reason for keeping me grounded and focused on my dreams and career.

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars. Either way, as long as you’re going somewhere, you’re going to get to some place.

 

 

Do you have any social media advice for MC students?

We are our biggest critics. Many of my peers take a picture and think that their work is not good enough and that people would think it’s ugly so they don’t post it. If you are proud of it, that’s all that matters, just put it out there and people will eventually notice you and your work.

When you keep posting, in a matter of a few months, you can look back and see your progress and that’s something people like to see: progress.

 

What are your plans when you graduate?

There are a few barbershops that I am really interested in. Places that I know I can take my career to a new level. I’m having a baby next year so I can’t wait to focus on starting a family when school is done. Everything works out for a reason.

MC Alumni Profile: Brett Kelly

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Instagram: @brett_thebarber
Favorite emoji: 🍻
Beauty must: “My blow dryer! Hands down.”
Favorite item in your wardrobe: “My bowler cap that I got from the UK!”
Favorite hangout spot: “My house with my daughters. I couldn’t think of any other hang out place that could be better!”

He’s a barber by day, and fencer and rockstar by night. As a 2012 Hairstyling graduate from MC College Vernon, Brett’s passion for the industry started when he played in a band as a guitarist. Today, he is a co owner of The Gentlemen’s Shop and Shave Parlour and a men’s hair educator.

Well that is it for the fencing season! I have been so damn happy getting back into this sport. It has been years since I last fenced. I started again back in September and I joined the @okanagan_freestyle_fencing club. Matt has been a fantastic coach who has really pushed me to get better. And it was great to be fencing with my first coach Brendan again as well. I could only make it once a week this year but next year I'm hoping to step it up a bit. I had the opportunity to do 4 tournaments this year in which I did not place but I could see growth through each one. I am truly happy where I am at now compared to where I was at when I first started. Now to keep up with training at home and private lessons with the coach. I hope everyone in the club who is going to provincials kills it this year! Thanks again for a great year @okanagan_freestyle_fencing @okanagan_freestyle_fencing @okanagan_freestyle_fencing

A post shared by Brett Kelly (@brett_thebarber) on

Why did you decide to get into Hairstyling?
“I play in a rockabilly band and hair is really big in that culture. So while we were on tour, we could not afford hair cuts. So, we went and bought a pair of Walmart clippers and I started cleaning up the band. I was HORRIBLE at it since I had no training but I fell in love with it very quickly…I enrolled into MC College and then went on to a barbering apprenticeship after. I am thoroughly happy that I decided to go the longer way and go through the styling program as it taught me so much more about hair than I would have ever learned in barber school.”

There was no barber school around when I decided I wanted to do men's hair. I remember coming back from tour with the band and I asked my barber how I could go about it. He told me to go to school and get the fundamentals then apprentice for my barbering. Well the next day I enrolled in @mccollegegroup to start my journey. Some of the best uk barbers started out in hair school. I took the long way about it you could say but I have absolutely no regrets. I was fortunate enough to have the benefit of both teachings. I took so much out of hair school. Different cutting techniques, texturizing, razor work, short hair, long hair (even though I do very little now) and the most important thing was sectioning. Sectioning was drilled into us for the first 6 weeks in class then drilled for the course of the next year on the floor. I see new barbers come out of school who can't even section a proper line or even create a clean horse shoe parting. Styling and the use and importance of a blow dryer was also drilled and this is one of the most important things that we use in the shop. Now at times it was super hard and definitely frustrating. But I had a clear goal. I was there to further my education on men's hair. So no matter how hard up dos and finger waves were I knew I had a clear goal to get to. After school I went on to apprentice to learn straight razor shaving, more detailed scissor work and more clipper work. Well 6 1/2 years later the passion is still there more than ever and I am a proud owner of a barber shop. So to everyone in school remember your there to learn so learn and don't have an ego where you think you know more than the teacher after 3 months. Because 99.9% chances are you probably don't. Without all this and the great teachers I had I wouldn't be where I am.

A post shared by Brett Kelly (@brett_thebarber) on

Since graduating, what would you say are your career highlights?
“Opening up the Gentlemens Shop is one of my top highlights. I opened a shop with a really great friend and we are fortunate that it has been a huge success with current wait times of over 6 weeks. Becoming an educator for the Okanagan has been another great highlight as there is not much for men’s education in BC especially in the okanagan. I’ve had great opportunities working with West Coast Beauty as well. I also got to attend a barber convention in the U.K. last year where over 5000 barbers were in attendance.”

Since being in the industry, what’s the most important lesson you have learned?
“Always keep an open mind and always keep an apprentice mentality. You don’t know it all, especially right out of school. So take criticism with an open mind and take the next step to see what you can do better.”

What’s the best part of your job? “The People!”

 

What’s the hardest part of your job? “The People!”

What do you see trending in your industry right now?
“Men’s hair is changing: from the greased down slicked back hair to more loose texture bed head type feel. Clients are wanting to look for a more lived in look instead of the always dapper on the go look… We usually look at what the UK is doing and then in 1.5 years it usually hits in the west coast of Canada. We try to keep up and push some of the trends before they start to come over.”

What’s the most important advice that you can offer MC College students who are looking to become successful in their own careers?
“Listen! Listen to your teachers. Remember you’re taking school for a reason and that’s to learn. Don’t have that ‘I know everything’ attitude because if you did you wouldn’t be in school.

Listen to your clients. A strong consultation is the key to ANY good haircut. Work on your consultation process to make sure you get all the details.

Listen to yourself! We take this career because we are passionate people who love to work with our hands and we usually love to help others. This is an industry where we enjoy making others feel great about themselves. But if we start hitting a point where you yourself are not enjoying it then something might need a change. Not in what you’re doing but maybe in how you’re doing it, where you’re doing it or what your doing about it.

Try hard and do your best.

Have a goal to work towards.

Keep educating yourself. School sets you up for the fundamentals of what you need. But after that it’s up to you to keep up with education, trends, styles and techniques. So remember to take care of yourself in that aspect to.”

Who do you follow on Social Media?
@sugarskulls @thesugarskullsloft @andrewdoeshair @Z_ramsey @stephenj.barber @manmadebarber

Tell us something that would surprise people about you!
“I am fully colour blind. So when going through school I was horrible at the colouring process. I only took hairstyling so I could get the fundamentals of cutting and go on to my barber apprenticeship. I was afraid to tell my teachers I couldn’t see colour incase I couldn’t take the school. After graduating I told my teachers that I couldn’t see colour. They laughed hard and replied “yea that makes a lot of sense now!”

What are the top things on your bucket list?
1. Travel to Japan with my Wife
2. Cut on stage at Barber Cut Dublin – Ireland’s largest barber convention

The combination of a blow dryer and @adhbrand #adhdry and #adhwet #btconeshot_men17 @barbershopconnect

A post shared by Brett Kelly (@brett_thebarber) on

If you could makeover anyone, who would it be?
“Matty Conrad, owner of Victory Barbers. That man has an awesome head of hair that I would love to cut!”

MC Elite: Matt Madill

 

matt 2Instagram: @5threalm5

Program: Hairstyling
Campus: Saskatoon
From the kitchen to behind the chair, our MC Elite for August is Hairstyling Student, Matt Madill!

Favorite emoji: ✌️😂

Favorite hangout spot: “The Woods Ale House in Saskatoon and Leopold’s Tavern in Regina.”

Favorite food: “An East Indian dish called dal makhani.”
Favorite item in your wardrobe: “Bow toes. The real ones…where you the tie them yourself.”
Favorite stylist or barber that you follow on social media: “Matt Beck. I actually got to meet him a few weeks ago in Vegas! He is super humble.”

Shadow root and tone tone on my friend holly!! She all graduated meow!! #mccollege #shadow #hairgamestrong

A post shared by Matthew Dwayne (@matts.vibe) on

Why did you start a career in Hairstyling?
“Hairstyling and barbering has always been something in the back of my mind…my mom was a Stylist and I grew up in the salon…Some of my first memories from my childhood are being my mom’s guinea pig. Many times she practiced perms on me, I cried a few times and disliked the rotten egg smell…I grew up folding towels and hanging around answering phones. When I became a bit older and could help, I would sweep hair and wash people’s hair without spraying them down…Being from Regina and growing up in a salon, I saw lots of the same things for years but when I ventured into social media, I saw how many more things people were doing like rainbow hair, pastel colours, bright-and-vibrant to soft-and-faded.”

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What did you do before starting your career in Hairstyling?
“I was a cook for my entire life. With Hairstyling, you get to work with other people and be your own boss at the same time. At the end of the day, it’s your chair, it’s the effort you put into it. In the restaurant industry, you couldn’t really do that unless you were a restaurant owner or investor… in a few days I’m going to be 33 and I wanted a career where I could connect with people.”

What do you like most about the industry?
“I love the people. I love talking to them and seeing them smile after you give them a haircut”

Who or what motivates you?
“My fellow classmates. Everyone is talented. There are going to be some millionaires here because they are that good!”

My buddy Dusting came by for a refresher this afternoon!!! #fades #wahlsenior #mccollege #hairgamestrong

A post shared by Matthew Dwayne (@matts.vibe) on

So far, what are your career highlights?
“I got the opportunity through MC College to work with Paul Mitchell. I was in Vegas a few weeks ago during the NAHA’s for education. I am so fortunate and grateful for the opportunity MC gave me”
“We had Paul Mitchell in the school back in January. Matt took it upon himself to go downstairs and ask if he could watch and observe. They ended up asking him to assist them for the 3 days (Sat, Sun & Mon). He did all 3 days. The Saskatoon rep offered him a job on the spot” says MC College Saskatoon Director, Vanessa Slater.

 

What are your plans when you graduate? What’s your long term goal?
“I would love to be an educator. I also want to travel to the Middle East and take my trade with me. What I love about hair is that there is no language barrier…well I mean there is but you can work your way around with pictures and demonstrating”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If you’re in a bad mood, don’t take that out on people. Put your best foot forward.”

Had an amazing day doing salon tours with my unit 4 homies and amazing coach Marg !! She the boss

A post shared by Matthew Dwayne (@matts.vibe) on

 

Every month, Campus Directors and Instructors nominate a student they feel should be recognized as an MC Elite. Students are chosen based on their use of social media to promote themselves and by tagging #mccollege and #mclife in their social media posts.

💈 Student of the Month: Adil Ehsani 💈

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From 4am fades to 🔥 hair tattoos, the Student of the Month goes out to MC College Calgary Hairstyling student, Adil Ehsani! He originally wanted to pursue a career as an electrical engineer but decided that “I always wanted to do something I like: barbering” says Adil.
“Adil has shown so much enthusiasm and excitement for this industry…He has a great attitude and is pleasure to work with” says Hairstyling Instructor, Flora Kahyayan.

Why did you choose Hairstyling as a career?
“I never wanted to do a regular desk job…It all started in Grade 8 because my hair kept on getting ruined every time I got it cut so I started doing it myself and people liked it and they started asking me to do their hair too …my parents were against it at first because I was going to be an electrical engineer…. I realized I loved [barbering] and didn’t want to do anything else…I decided to drop my courses and go into Hairstyling.”

What do you like most about Hairstyling so far?
“Being creative and talking to people. Hairstyling to me is like an art form and you can express yourself”.

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What do you love about MC College?
“The people and the instructors…there is so much diversity here and everyone has their own personality. It’s nice to see a different perspective and work with different personalities.”

What has surprised you the most about beauty school?
“How much I learned! When I first started here, I was cocky and I thought I knew everything…after the first few days I realized that there is so much to learn about cutting and coloring hair”

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What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned or faced while at MC College?
“Being one of the few guys in Hair School…at first it was intimidating but now it’s just natural and everything feels right. Everyone is so accepting here!”
What are your plans for the future after graduating? .
“In 3 or 4 years, I want to open a barbershop. When I graduate, I’m going to be working at The Ave YYC Barbershop. I love the clients and the barbers there. The owner, Arey, really helped me with my barbering…he’s who I look up to”

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What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Do what you love, don’t ever chase money. If you do what you love, money will come naturally.”

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Show him some love on instagram @francoehsanifades!

MC Alumni Profile: Andrew Van

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Image credit: @chinkthebarber

Some know him as Andrew while others know him as “Lord Chink”. As a 2010 Graduate from the Hairstyling program at the Winnipeg campus, he is the face behind the Instagram account with 10,000+ followers, @chinkthebarber. “I’m just an everyday Barber….I’m not trying to get famous. I’m just trying to master my craft and share it with others. Just chase your dreams.” he says.


From Winnipeg to Toronto and Edmonton to Montreal, Andrew has traveled across Canada to compete and learn with the best of the best. Since graduating, he has:

  • Won first place in ‘Best Design’ at the Golden Gloves Barber Battle in Winnipeg
  • Placed in the top three in ‘Trendsetter’ at the Heavy Hitters Barber Battle in Toronto.
  • Competed in the ABA’s Battle of the Barbers and Major Fade’s Barber Battle to name a few.
  • “Blessed heads” (cut hair) of celebrities such as Redman and Evander Kane (NHL hockey player)

#TBT WHEN I LINED UP REDMAN

A post shared by LEGENDS NEVER DIE. (@chinkthebarber) on

 

Today, he is a Barber at Blacklist Boutique.

 


His career in Hairstyling started when he was going through a turning point in his life. His mentor and friend, Scott Ramos (one of Canada’s most famous barbers) introduced him to the world of fades and razor parts. “Scott Ramos introduced me to Hairstyling and I thought it looked fun…he convinced me to be a Hairstylist after seeing me at my worst” says Andrew. “Thank you [Scott] for being my inspiration, if it wasn’t for you, I’d be a deadbeat by now” he continues.


He decided to enroll at MC College after our graduate, Guy Lemieux, referred him to the school. “This is embarrassing..roller sets was my favorite part…it taught me how to manipulate hair just by heat and very little products” says Andrew.


What’s been your biggest eye opener since graduating?
“Being a role model for students and seeing how far you can get from being a stylist/barber”
What’s been most exciting?
“Being recognized for what I do in Winnipeg and other cities by random people…instead of telling people who I am or what I do…I can finally say I made it!!”


What advice would you give to MC College students?
“Keep networking and take in as much education. The hair industry is never ending. Go bless some heads!”

Student of the Month: Skylar Bakes

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From blue to unicorn coloured hair, this student has coloured his hair every color that exists! Our December Student of the Month goes out to Hairstyling student, 👉 Skylar Bakes 👈, from the Kelowna campus. He is a proud Transgender Student who supports the LGBT community as well as supports local agencies that help refugees and newcomers.

Why did you choose Hairstyling as a career?
“When I was younger, I wanted to colour my hair bright green but I had hair down to my knees and my mother said no! Since then, I’ve been cutting and colouring my hair all kinds of colours on my own…In 2013, I got the opportunity to do a work experience at High Fidelity Hair. The owner really encouraged me to go down this road!”

Do it up(do?) #mccollege #updo #funhair #fancy

A post shared by Skylar Bakes (@skylarbakeshair) on

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned at MC College?
“I knew it (Hair School) was going to be hard because nothing worth it is easy…The school has a lot of students and I don’t do well in large groups but I’ve  learned to balance school with my personal space”.

What do you like most about hairstyling so far?
“The ability to leave a positive change on someone’s self image.”

What do you love about MC College?
“The staff is really really really really REALLY amazing! They go above and beyond and work hard to make sure you understand something. They treat us with so much respect…something that I wasn’t expecting!”

Lunch breaks #fishtail #mccollege #braids

A post shared by Skylar Bakes (@skylarbakeshair) on

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned at MC College?
“I knew it (Hair School) was going to be hard because nothing worth it is easy…The school has a lot of students and I don’t do well in large groups but I’ve learned to balance school with my personal space”.

What are your plans for the future when you graduate?
“Actually, I got an offer for a position yesterday at Big Bro’s Barbershop!! They’re a LGBT friendly barbershop in Vancouver.”

Updo~ #braidingfun #braids #updo #stylist #mccollege

A post shared by Skylar Bakes (@skylarbakeshair) on

What’s the best advice you’ve received about Beauty School?
“Trust the process and pray to the hair gods.” 👏 👏

What are your must have Artego Products?
“All the Rain Dance products because it really helps with dry hair. Dry hair ain’t cute.”

FOLLOW HIM ON INSTAGRAM: @SKYLARBAKESHAIR

Alumni Profile: John Radu

 

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Photo credit: Allison Seto (allisonseto.com) via Branded Magazine

From Don Draper’s side part and the classic pompadour to EDM, John is a barber and master stylist by day and a DJ by night. As a 1997 graduate from the Hairstyling program at the Calgary campus, he is the owner and visionary behind Cannibale Barbershop; the first barbershop/lounge concept in Calgary. He is also:

• A stylist at Josef Saliba Salon
• An Educator and Platform Artist at Tigi.

In November 2015, he was featured on the cover of Branded Magazine and their “Cutting it Old School” article. Read it here: http://brandedyyc.com/cutting-it-old-school/

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Photo credit: Allison Seto (allisonseto.com) via Branded Magazine

His career in Hairstyling started at a young age.  “I have been around the industry all my life but at that time I never wanted to be a Hairdresser” says John.  His mother, a Hairstylist, influenced him to be part of the industry. He decided to enroll at MC College (it was Marvel College back then!) as he was looking for a school with a good reputation. “I really loved everything about the course. Even all the sets and finger waves…it does pay off in the long run! It was good to learn everything and never box yourself into just one thing”.

Styled using #hippiekiller from @crownshavingco

A post shared by John Radu (@cannibalebarber_yyc) on

 

From travelling across North America with Tigi to experiencing backstage madness at the Libertine Show at New York Fashion Week, John has over 18 years of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, he has taught barbering classes and has been an integral part of the Tigi Creative Team at events such as Chicago ABS (America’s Beauty Show), International salon and spa expo and more. “Since I’ve graduated, I‘ve had an amazing career. It’s an amazing industry that lets you be creative and make a pretty damn good living.

We asked him: What advice would you give to MC College students?
“Work hard and really absorb everything that is being taught…never stop educating yourself. Education is the key to success!”

Follow him on Instagram! @cannibalebarber_yyc

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Photo credit: Robert Valentine Photography (http://www.rvphotographics.com/)

Student of the Month: Carlo Rodillo 💈✂

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From fades to comb overs and even the braided man top knot, he’s been on the barbering grind since becoming a student. Our November Student of the Month goes out to freshly graduated Hairstyling Student 👉Carlo Rodillo👈 from our Winnipeg campus!

Why did you choose Hairstyling as a career?
I’ve always been interested in Hairstyling but never got into it ‘cause of pressure from family. When I finally got into hair, I loved it! Growing up, drawing used to be my favorite hobby. When I first started school and cut hair for the first time, it gave me a nostalgic feeling with drawing. To me, drawing and hairstyling- that’s art!

What made you choose barbering?
“When I started school, I didn’t want to just cut girls hair and I didn’t see a lot of male hairstylists when I started school. I had a lot of guy friends who needed their hair cut and barbering went from there.”

What do you love about MC College?
“EVERYTHING. 👐 Everyone is so supportive, helpful and not rude.”

What has surprised you the most about beauty school?
“The places you can go with what you learn. I thought going to hair school meant that you could only be a hairstylist but you can go and enter competitions, become famous and lots more. There are a lot of things that I can do.”

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned at MC College?
“The chemistry behind hair – it’s not really something you think about when you’re doing a color or cutting hair.”

What are your plans for the future now that you’ve just graduated?
“Right now I’m apprenticing at Hunter and Gun Barber Shop. There’s so much I can do and there’s so many opportunities out there that it’s hard for me to say what my plans are.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received about beauty school?
“Don’t give up!!”

What are your must have Artego product(s)?
“Fast replay is pretty crazy! It’s the best product for men’s styling”

A post shared by Carlo Rodillo (@thatbarberillo) on

Go and give Carlo some love and follow him on Instagram (@thatbarberillo), snapchat (@kingrillorc) and twitter (@jcrodillo)!!

Every month, we highlight a student from one of our 6 campuses. The Student of the Month is nominated by Campus Directors and Instructors, and are chosen based on the students’ hard work and dedication in the salon/spa, classroom, community/volunteering and/or use of social media to promote themselves.

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