What does it take for a barber from an industrial town in the north of England to open the leading barbershop for English Gentlemen's Style in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates? Nothing less than an odyssey across the globe, a vita like that of a sailor from an adventure novel and quite a remarkable attitude towards life and people.
Julian Colclough began training as a barber in Bradford / Yorkshire in 1987 at the age of 15. Bradford was a student city and Julian - cosmopolitan by nature - was particularly fascinated by the contact with young students from all over the world. In the second barbershop where he got a job, he had an Italian master tradesman. Here he learned the trade from scratch with all the tricks of the trade of this great barber nation. When he was 19, he took a holiday in Ibiza. Having once been bathed in the warm Mediterranean sun and in contact with the informal Mediterranean way of life, he immediately realised that he would not be able to live permanently in England. He spent the entire following summer in Ibiza. He scraped by with jobs for discos and additionally barbered in his flat. After the summer, Julian worked again for a while in Leeds, where he had a student from Dubai on the chair in 1996. He simply asked him if he could find him a job in Dubai. He could - and so Julian ended up in the United Arab Emirates. The student from back then is now the ambassador of a UAE state and Julian sees him on TV from time to time.
After stopovers in Sydney and Asia, Julian finally opened his own barbershop in Dubai in 2003. Thanks to his large network, friendliness and openness, he never regarded challenges as such as he travelled the world and became self-employed. Today, there are regular customers whom he has been cutting hair and beards since 1996. They have followed him from his days as an employed barber to his own barbershop. When asked if he has any advice to share, he replies, "Good relationships with people are worth more than money." For Julian, this philosophy of life has paid off twice over. On the one hand, he successfully runs his own internationally renowned barbershop. For another, Julian says of every stage of his life in retrospect "that was such a great time, so much fun." Not a word about worries, difficulties, insecurity, much or irregular working hours. Even if he doesn't enjoy cutting quite as much anymore, he still needs the contact with people as he did on the first day of his barber career.