It’s not unusual these days to see a woman holding the razor at a barbershop. Women have become adept at cutting hair and often are better stylists than men. However, what is rare is to see a woman who actually works the razor and runs the shop. Kiah Lyles, owner of “Klassy Kutz” in the growing city of Snellville, Georgia, is one such entrepreneur. Rolling out recently spoke with this phenomenal Black business woman about her start in the business and her future plans.
Tell our readers about yourself and how you became a barber.
I am originally from a small place called Newton, Mississippi. I have a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Grambling State University [in] Louisiana. I am a member of the greatest sorority in the whole wide world, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. I moved to Atlanta in December 2006 and decided to enroll in school for my master barber’s license. I have been around the hair industry all of my life. For the past 51 years, my mom, Joan Lyles, has been and still is a licensed cosmetologist in Mississippi. Many years ago, a close childhood friend introduced me to another side of the hair industry, barbering, and I’ve been interested in it ever since.
What is the mission of a barber?
Every barber’s mission is different. My mission is to transform a person’s total outlook on life, through a haircut, by “Creating a Celebrity.”
How important is it for a man to have a distinctive look?
It is very important for a man to have a distinct look because it sets him apart from the next man and gives him a sense of character.
Name three ways a barber stays informed of styles and trends.
Internet- via social media, You Tube, Pinterest, Google, and many other sites. Attending hair shows and different industry related events. Networking with other barbers on a daily basis.
Name two types of advice you give your clients.
-Receiving a great haircut requires teamwork from both of us. You must also take care of your hair at home by shampooing/conditioning, combing/brushing, and moisturizing on a regular basis.
-Having a barber is equivalent to being in a relationship. Communication, loyalty, and trust are three main attributes that are required to have the ending results that one desires.
What are the three most important things to know about being a new barber in the business?
-Being a barber requires patience. Nothing happens overnight.
-You are your own boss. You are responsible for building your own business/clientele. Always stay motivated, passionate, and ambitious.
-Never chase money. Continue to perfect your skills on a daily basis and the money will come to you. Stay humble in the process.
Why do you think Black men today allow a woman to cut their hair?
Black men are particular on their image in today’s society. Women are known for paying close attention to detail when it comes to the appearance of a man because he represents us when we are finished.
How do you plan to grow your business?
My formula is very simple. Consistency is the key along with constant networking.
How can people contact you for an appointment?
They can set an appointment with me by going to www.styleseat.com/kiahlyles
I can also be reached on:
Facebook: Kiah Snellville’s Finest Barber