Hi Sid, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions; we know you have a very busy schedule at the moment between work and your personal life (congratulations to you and your lovely wife!). First of all we’d like to congratulate you on having been named Training Academy of the year at the Barber Awards 2016 against Mike Taylor Education and Hair for Men Academy - were you expecting this title?
Yes I was expecting this title as myself and my team have worked very hard since we had opened up our academy under the Sid Sottung Academy brand name. Our dedication to providing an up market educational service to our students is our main priority.
Why do you think Sid Sottung Academy made the difference?
Well with my background from being an educator for Vidal Sassoon in their academies globally and now being an American Crew Elite team member, our credentials are second to none. I have personally taught Will ( the owner of Hair for Men) as he came on my courses before starting his own academy, so I would have to say we are the perfect example of what our education can lead you to.
Can you tell us what got you hooked on barbering?
Myself I originally trained as a barber before I had joined Sassoon, my heart has always been with teaching and barebring.
How would you describe your style and way of teaching?
Our style of education is keeping it simple. There is a reason for everything we create in cut or a shave etc. We provide the reasons why in our classes at our academy and at our international seminars.
You obviously have a considerable knowledge of the men’s hair industry - do you have any advices for younger barbers who’d like to take their career to the next level?
My best advice would be is to never give up. Practice , Practice and Practice more. You never stop learning. Step outside your comfort zones in education and inspiration.
We all know how important it is for hair professionals to continuously practice and improve their skills with training courses; How about the tools you use as a hairdresser/barber? You’ve recently launched your own range of barbering tools - do you think they’re essential to anyone seeking to master the trickiest techniques?
Using high quality equipment is one of the best advices I can give as it is essential for any barber to use professional equipment. The cuts will be easier to create and more pleasant for your body comfort.
You opened your first Academy in Nottingham three years ago, any plans for new academies in the UK or abroad?
I am looking to expand my brand into the overseas market. That will be something I'll be looking into this year. I am currently looking for the right people who would like to venture into this business model.
Talking about travels, you’ve travelled pretty much everywhere in the world with Sassoon and Sid Sottung Academy - what’s your best and worst memory whilst abroad?
I would have to say one of my trickiest moments traveling abroad was when my Russian visa expired by 4 hours when I was leaving the country. I was then detained for 48 hours until the problem was resolved. To myself it was abit scary as I needed to go back to work the day after I got back. As for the best, I would say that the best experience I have when teaching is training the beginners, to see their face light up with glee after completing their first haircut on a live model.
Where do you picture yourself in 15 years?
I plan on launching my own product brand, expanding into more academies and having a franchise of barbershops throughout the world. My new collaboration with Captain Fawcett's beard oil will be coming out later this year.
The Sid Sottung range is coming soon at Outillage... Watch this Space!