Katie La Vecchia is a born Entrepreneur as she opened http://PresidentClubBarbershop.com in Millburn, NJ after perfecting her craft over 10 years. She has plans to expand once she nails down the process and offering exceptional service to the classic man.
What do I do best?
I make people feel good. Whether I am doing a haircut and shave on a client, working with a employee or talking with a friend, I genuinely enjoy making people feel (and look) good. Having a positive attitude and the ability to listen and relate to people makes me a good barber, boss and friend (or at least I like to think so). I really care about my clients, I want them to feel confident to tackle life when they leave my chair; how we look has a huge impact on how we feel. So whether I am making people feel good through a haircut or just a conversation with a friend, I think I have the type of energy people can take to, absorb and really keep with them even after our encounter.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I am the best version of myself when I am in a solid routine and surrounding myself with positive energy and people. Getting good sleep, being consistent at the gym, prioritising things like eating well and seeing my important friends and family members really makes me feel good. I feel very at peace with myself when I do all of these things. If I don't go to the gym for more then 2 days or go more than a couple of weeks without seeing my nephews, I am not a happy Katie.
What are my aspirations?
I would really like to have 2, maybe 3 barber shops and start expanding my brand by franchising out The Presidents Club Barber Shops. I went to help other passionate, entrepreneurial, professional barbers pursuit their dreams of becoming a small business owner. Helping others achieve these goals and expanding my brand at the same time would be a dream come true. Definitely a journey I will thoroughly enjoy. I think together we can be much bigger than alone.
Personally, I can’t wait to travel and see the world. I love history and am fascinated by other cultures traditions and lifestyle. Going to museums, historical monuments, local restaurants and beaches all over the world makes me so excited! I can’t wait to see EVERYTHING!
My Biggest Success?
My biggest success yet has to be getting my skill set up to where it is now. As a barber/ hairstylist you have to start from somewhere and you have to learn. We all have given some haircuts in the early days of our careers I’m sure we can all agree, we are not so proud of. I have spend so much time, effort and attention to detail to get where I am today. I am at the point I can confidently say I can do any haircut and any shave with full confidence. Although, opening my barber shop has been a great accomplishment it is still a tangible thing that can fall apart or be taken away from me, my skills and abilities as a barber- no one can take that from me.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Going into business for myself was the most difficult life decision i have made so far. I was working at a job I really loved, I had established a solid following, made great money, had a all-star staff, a very short commute (1.5 miles), plenty of vacation days and most importantly- zero liability. I loved the idea of no liability, I use to tell myself that was better than being a owner. But ”no risk- no reward” kept going through my head and although i was a boss I wasn't “the boss”. I realized in my 8 years of experience in managing a business that I was pretty good at it, the hustle of it had become second nature. The hiring, firing, training, scheduling, payroll, etc was all just a part of what I did. Not to mention being a full-time barber who needed to produce like everyone else who worked there. Obviously there is WAY more responsibilities when you are the owner- but I felt like I was “mostly” there (boy, was I wrong!). But the point is I was never truly going to be the last word and I wanted to be. I had no choice but to do what I was asked to do by my employer weather I agreed or not and I hated it. This is what really drove me to break free from working for somebody else. I liked the pressure of being fully responsible for what happened in my career, it feels very raw, very real and I wanted to own it.
In my bedroom I have “Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort” - Theodore Roosevelt. I thoroughly believe this in all aspects of life, whether is be a great business, a good friendships or being in a loving relationship, they all come with a price and that's effort. I read it every day and it reminds me to stay strong- because although there is tons of effort and what seems like no reward now- I know it will come and it will be worth it!
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My Mother has always been my favorite person and who I would consider to be “my hero”. However, she passed just 10 days before we opened The Presidents Club this past May. My Mother was amazing, a ray of sunshine to everyone she meet- literally the most friendly person you ever knew. She was strong, beautiful and so kind to all. I choose to live in her legacy and try be a really nice person. She always said it takes way more energy to be mean then it does to be nice and this is how I try to live my life everyday. If I can make someone's day by simply smiling and saying “Good morning”- then why not?
A professional role model for me would have to be my business partner Laura. She is such a hard worker and has the work ethic of a goddess, not to mention a heart of gold. I admire her ability to keep going, focus on what needs to be done and never complain. She is the reason I have the strength to get through the tough entrepreneurial challenges we face all the time.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I have so many places on my bucket list, but one I got to check off 2 years ago was Italy. My father was born there so I grew up wanting to go so badly! We always had a very strong Italian culture in my family growing up so I naturally wanted to emerge myself in that more. Seeing where my father was born, where my grandparents grew up was on of the coolest experiences of my life. Not to mention we went all around Rome and up and down the Amalfi Coast. I saw the most breathtaking sunsets, ate the best food, drank the best wine and saw all of the historial stuff you would want to see. The Vatican, the colosseum, Pompeii- all amazing. I want to go back and do the northern part of Italy next time.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My Scissors, Straight razors and tools are like extensions of my hands and my most important things I own. Without them I cannot create and that is what I do best. They are a part of me at this point. I also have some old school straight razors that I framed in shadow boxes and have them on the wall in the shop. All gifts from different people in my life and I just love to look at them.! Antique barber stuff is definitely a point of passion for me- I will collecte pretty much whatever I can get my hands on, at a sensible price of course.
My Current Passions?
I’m really into strength training. I love working towards a goal and seeing my body change and strength increasing. I was never athletic growing up and always wanted to be so I started to change my lifestyle about 3 years ago and began lifting weights instead of just doing cardio all the time at the gym. I have muscles in places now I never thought I would. My trainer is amazing and has been the key to helping me reach my goals (shout out to Andy!). The gym is the one and only place it's just me and I don't have to worry about family or work. It’s been such a great escape that makes me feel good everyday!
I also have a new passions in my life as I am going to get my motorcycle license this summer! I have said for 5+ summers I was going to get it and it's time to just do it or I feel like I never will. I can't wait to get out there and ride! Sorry Dad if you thought I was joking about this one.