Canvas Connections with Pope the Barber; Take the stairs baby girl.

Canvas Connections with Pope the Barber
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We sat down with Pope The Barber to talk all things success, leadership, and life.




Pope answers this by saying that the best part is simply, “The journey itself.” As people that are embarking on building a business and putting everything on the line, this really resonates with us. Sometimes we get so busy chasing the end goal and forget to enjoy the journey itself. When you see it from that point of view, you can celebrate small wins that bring you closer to a bigger goal every single day versus waiting to reach something really big. It means being present and grateful at every step of the journey.


She continues by talking to, “Leveraging my experiences in my journey to help people.” Her true success comes by selflessly helping others.


Pope then says “I’ve leaped far and fallen even harder” which is a reminder that falling isn’t an endpoint, rather a part of a successful journey. It means not giving up when you fall. Giving everything you got and believing in yourself – especially when you fall.


She comes from a place of gratitude and is grateful for all of her trials and tribulations – she comes from a place of knowing and understanding rather than having a victim mindset of difficult circumstances, making her a super attractor for positive flow and success.


She closes this up by unapologetically being herself and saying “I go b*lls deep.” Enough said.


She also recommends that we all watch the movie Julie and Julia which is currently on my weekend to do list.


2. How do I eliminate fear and take risks and go for it?


For those unfamiliar with Pope’s story, she was a basketball star and had her hopes set on playing basketball – after a car accident left her unable to walk for a year, she revisited her passion for doing hair. As she made a name for herself, she left everything behind to work in Montreal.


Pope answers this by saying “Your comfort zone is not where movement is going to happen. Ask yourself what you actually want out of life and then what are you going to do to achieve it? I do things at 1,000% and when I started feeling burnt out and stagnant, I took action.”:


She finishes by talking to the fear of regret being bigger than the fear itself. Yes, so true.


We also got into the importance of aligning your dreams and goals with your partner – Because its “cool when you can swim deep with someone.” Yes, it really is Pope, it really is.


Despite being females in male-dominated industries, Pope and her partner have made a name for themselves through grit, hard work, and dedication. She talks about their love being unlike any other as they share similar goals, morals, and dreams.


3. What business or technical tools can you not live without?


She answers this by “getting hippy” (which we love) and says “my gut.” My biggest business tool is following my gut…. You know… I feel like the best restaurant owners start out as the dishwashers.” Yes, we totally agree! When you work your way up you are grateful, humbled, relatable, compassionate and understand every part that makes up your business.


She finishes by saying “Take the stairs baby girl.” Pope took the stairs and is humbled and grateful to have built up such an empire.


She talks that this might be the “fougazey fougasse” message but fougazey fougasse or not, we dig it.



4. What is your biggest business challenge?

Pope says, “being at the top means you have no one above you to look up to and follow in their footsteps.” She talks to learning what a brand is and that it’s “okay to step out of the norm and be yourself.” Because after all a brand that isn’t authentically you will be fake and won’t resonate with your audience.


She moves on to talk to another challenge being “translating your vibe and ideas through other humans and getting everyone on the same page.” This may be why we feel that culture and culture fit is so important. Aligning with and hiring people that are already on your same vibe or wavelength can help here.


She finishes by making a point that you don’t have to know it all – because learning as your business grows is vital to success. Everything is hard but easy all at once. Getting through it by learning and having a clear vision are key to success. We couldn’t agree more.



5. Whats a big mistake you see other barbershop owners making?

She answers with a very familiar answer, “my biggest thing with barbershop owners, even salon owners, is that they pay more attention to the client, rightfully so… but they aren’t taking care of their barbers or stylists as well.” If you watched our interview with Mark Bustos and Manny Rolon – they had a very similar answer to a similar question. Beauty Business Owners are not focusing on their staff as much as they should be.


Pope talks to how she modeled her barbershop to be employee first focus with her clients being a close second. “If my employees are taken care of and properly educated, then there is no reason why their clients shouldn’t be taken care of.”


Pope talks about leveraging previous positive and negative experiences in her career to create the ideal place to work for, “I made sure this place was full of vibe, and that employees were able to grow.” Pope talks to a process that barbers start out commission based and eventually grow into a chair rental. Ultimately, Pope, even grooms/helps employees open up their own Vatican location going in 50-50 with them.


She also talks to building A players, “essentially, I’m breeding managers and owners.” Yes, that you are Pope. You are gifting your employees with the gift of empowerment, self-confidence, a clear path to success – which will all come back to you tenfold. Bravo.


“People are losing stylists and barbers left and right.. and, it’s because you’re treating them like sh*t, of course.


She finishes by saying that you need to establish healthy boundaries with your employees where you can empower them but at the same time say no to certain things.


6. What are the secrets behind being a great leader?

Pope admits, “It’s hard being a good leader honestly. That’s probably one of the biggest things I struggle with is, wanting everyone to eat and making sure you’re also fed.” Pope goes on to talk to her nature of always taking care of others before herself and finding that she would often give and ultimately be stepped on. These circumstances have set Pope up to learn and be the leader she is today with healthy boundaries.

“Its really opening up your energy to the right people, having healthy boundaries and knowing what you want. It’s so true what they say, stand for something or you’ll fall for everything. You really have to have that focus because when plan A doesn’t work out, then you got a Plan B and you can’t go astray. Know what you’re leading.” Amen sister.


7. Who or what inspires you?

“My girlfriend inspires me the most. I love the hair industry and I love everything about it, but I don’t idolize anyone. But I have lots of respect for everyone and what they do and learn a lot from them.”


She finishes by saying “my lady and I really got this thing going on.” She talks about how she and her girlfriend share the same lifestyle, difficult pasts and are very much goal oriented. She talks to picking each other up by giving 90% if her girlfriend is only feeling 10% and vice versa. While they are very separate people, together they make up a cohesive whole. “She’s my hero, I love her.” Yeah, We know EXACTLY what you mean. 😉


8. How do you want to be remembered?

“I want to be remembered for exactly who I am. I want to make sure the world properly sees what kind of person I am. For who I am and what I love. I think everyone should be known for exactly who they are and the person they hide. It’s huge to love that person you always hide and to make something of it.”


That was super deep. Loving the person you hide. We are still digesting this – it’s so true. Self-love.


Thank you, Pope, for sharing your morning with us. You are super inspiring and original and we love you for that.


Barbers, Salon owners