We Are Minimalists (in training) Forty:8th & Tailored is being built on principles of minimalism. It was born to be a fresh take on the barbershop experience, and conciously grounded in simplicity.
Sure we could have opened another neighborhood barbershop in a busy shopping center, with 800-1200 square feet and 6-10 barbers on staff, but that has been done (and done very well by a few) and it wasn't our vision. Our vision is top-notch service minus unnecessary excess. By stripping away the superfluous, such as high overhead, wasted space, exorbitant expenditures, etc., we are able to build a brand that allows us to live our passion (barbering) and our mission (giving).
So what is Minimalism?
While there is no set definition of what minimalist is, the basic premise is that you do more with less, and forego excess in order to live with purpose. It is about having the freedom to live life on your terms as opposed to chasing the next tax bracket. It is foregoing some (most) of the trappings that that make us appear wealthy and successful in order to live a fulfilling life.
My partner Cro has always inadvertently been somewhat of a minimalist. He, even as a young twenty-something has lived well within his means. He has avoided car payments (he drives a sweet vintage VW cabrio), expensive electronics, overpriced sneakers (rocks nothing but chucks), etc. in order to live a life with a bit less stress. I mean, he is also a garage sale enthusiast and buys and hoards cheap crap (so Not minimalist) but we all have stuff in our lives that could use some editing. As I said, there is no set way to add minimalism to your life and overall he has done a pretty solid job.
Then you have me…
I am currently making a concerted effort to live a lifestyle of minimalism, but it hasn't always been that way. I have always been willing to finance the things that I believed added value to my life. I have taken multiple car loans over the years; I went to private (read overpriced) undergraduate, graduate, and law schools; I tend to buy way more sneakers and clothing than I need (I mean you only have two feet right?); historically I have not been the poster boy for minimalism.
So What Changed?
Passion & Purpose vs. Money & Stuff.
For a long time I was feeling like I had to pursue a career in law because I spent so much time and money going to school for it. I felt stuck trying to conform to what an attorney should be. After watching a TED Talk called “Less Stuff, More Happiness” I started to explore my lifestyle and decided it was time to make some changes so that I could live out my passion and my purpose.
When Chris and I started developing our brand and making decisions about our shop, we approached each decision with minimalist principles in mind. Our focus was on the essentials. We wanted a place that was based not just on great haircuts, but great service. We also wanted our passion, barbering, to work alongside our mission of giving. Our approach was to buy things of quality and substance, not things that were inexpensive and to edit out the unnecessary to leave room for charity. This meant spending more on the things that mattered (vintage chairs, top notch products, upgraded booking systems, etc,.) versus buying a bunch of cheap trinkets and accessories.
Don't get us wrong– Money is not bad. Material things are not bad. But the ultimate pursuit of these things often leads to an empty and unfulfilled life, and that is what we are aiming to avoid both personally and as a brand.
What are some things you wish you could pursue? What things could you change in order to pursue those things?
We would love to continue this discussion so Tweet us, Gram us, Facebook us, or stop by and have a drink and a convo.