Meet Josh Cooley, owner of Belmont Barbershop in Chicago. A more than appropriate name for a guy who knows a thing or two about style.
How long have you been in business?
JC: A little over 5 years.
What was your last job before starting your business?
JC: I worked at a shop that was more of a “man salon” than a true barbershop. I was frustrated with the atmosphere and mediocre haircuts that were given at that shop. I decided that I only want to work with guys who’ve gone through the same barber training that I have. It was a turning point and now I have an atmosphere and quality that I am proud of.
Where did you grow up?
JC: I grew up in Northern Ohio. I lived close to Oberlin College, Cleveland, and a lot of farms. I am proud of it all. I was exposed to a lot of culture, yet I was able to enjoy a simple life in the country. I dream of a day when a Cleveland sports team will win a championship.
Where did you go to college?
JC: I studied Art at a small liberal arts school in Kentucky called Asbury College. I also attended The University of Cincinnati. I ended up going to Allstate Barber College in Cleveland to get a diploma. My college education was not necessary for my profession, but it enhances my life.
What is your favorite thing about working for yourself?
JC: I think it’s the adventure. I like the control and the freedom to focus on what I care about.
What is your least favorite thing about working for yourself?
JC: I never get to call in sick!