For successful entrepreneur and Founder of Fade Game Barbershop Kendall Joseph, he would have never imagined what started out as a hobby cutting hair as a young teenager, would turn into a lifelong career and love for barbering. Joseph, a native of Kenner, La. and Bonnabel High School graduate, spent most of his childhood in Kenner while attending middle schools in the New Orleans area. In 2015, Joseph started hash tagging the name Fade Game Critical as a way to showcase recent haircuts before eventually creating a T-Shirt line for barbers who wanted to showcase their haircuts as well.
As the Fade Game brand continued to grow, so did Joseph’s clients. What was once known as Fade Game Critical now became Fade Game Barbershop. Home of the ‘Critical Cuts.’ Joseph, who values his clientele and those who he comes in contact with, believes his clientele is the inspiration behind his love for barbering.
“(It is)The lives that you can touch.” Joseph stated. “Everybody think its just about cutting hair and I tell a lot of young barbers if you think this is just about cutting hair (pause) forget about it. I learned that over the years and it inspires me to see someone at this level of their life grow to this level and it started with a haircut. It really inspires me to see elevation in people and within myself.”
More importantly, Joseph’s inspiration for growing the Fade Game Barbershop brand extends to those closely surrounding him. A husband and father of three, Joseph keenly recognizes the importance of being an example to his kids who see and share in his successes as a Black entrepreneur.
“It’s one of the biggest of all inspirations when you get into it for sure. All of my kids know what I do and how I get down and they know I am the head of the operation.” Joseph explained to blkpreneurship.com. “They have this mindset and demeanor about them already they kind of move like that in a way because I am an example every day. It gets challenging sometimes raising kids like that because you got to slow them down. It’s the example they see every day of course they are going to strive to be good in everything they do.”
For all of the success Joseph now enjoys, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic changed his mental approach to the industry that made him question whether to continue his pursuit as a barber. Moreover, the peak of the pandemic had a profound effect on his barbershop during a three month period when regular clients were no longer showing up for hair cuts. As a result, the barbershop took on a financial loss with many unknowns about the future of his establishment.
“It was definitely slow during that time. You had people skeptical about coming into the barbershop again. When they (clients) did come into the shop you had some who wanted to wear the mask and some who didn’t.” Joseph said. “It is getting back to some kind of normalcy. A lot of the guys (clients) coming in are vaccinated. A lot of them are wearing masks. As for the business, the products went up because you have to do more and take more precautions of the things you didn’t do prior to Covid-19; you have to do now.”
Now with the pandemic behind him, Joseph envisions a bright future for Fade Game Barbershop. The relationships, once established with many of his clients, are now returning. Chairs that were once empty, are now filled again. A sense of normalcy has finally returned. “One thing about the barber game it affected us drastically at the time but as things get back to normal; people want haircuts. People care about their appearance.”
It is clear Joseph has a genuine love for his clients. And this is the reason why so many of his clients return to Fade Game Barbershop.
Follow Fade Game Barbershop on https://www.instagram.com/fadegame_barbershop/
For more amazing stories follow BLKPRENEURSHIP on social media