Issue 5 – 2018

What a year. I thought I’d make this entry of ‘Freehounds, The Blog’ about how great, yet challenging 2018 really was. Also, how I’m feeling going into 2019 with Freehounds.

2018 saw a lot of great things happen for Freehounds as a brand. Yet, it was a tough, tough year. There was many, many extra hours put in to try to cope with overwhelming demand. If you were around for it, you’ll know there were ups and downs as far as the prospects of another barber, to give the shop the extra push that it really needs. It was fully booked ALL YEAR though, if you discount the no-shows. The only real thing holding us back here, is that other barber. The near future is very promising on this matter though, but I won’t reveal too much about that here!

So what were the highlights of the year ‘2018’?

February – the first taste of Freehounds ‘merch’ with the badges and stickers! photo by Gary Stirling

March – this month marked the 1 year anniversary of Freehounds itself!!!Instagram post @freehoundsbarberclub at the time

May – trimmed some beards for Scottish Association for Mental Health Charity at Brewdog by Grant McRobbie

May/June – I cut my girlfriend’s, and my Mum’s hair!!! It was amazing for my confidence as a hair-cutter, and I’ve learned a lot from having cut both their hair. It really pushed me to create more feminine looks. Good times!!!

September – THIS BLOG BEGAN!!! Which you guys received so much better than I thought you would have. It was/still is really exciting for me, it’s very much appreciated! It has been, and will be a great way to show in depth what the brand is truly about, and also keep you all updated on the inside stuff!

October – We won ‘BEST STIRLING BUSINESS 2018’ at ‘Stirling and Falkirk Business Awards’. This truly was a monumental one. I knew that I was bringing something to Stirling that this place had never seen before. I knew that there wasn’t another business or brand in town, doing what I do. But I NEVER expected this. It’s not only that I didn’t actually know that the award existed, but I never expected such a high level of acknowledgement so early on in Freehounds’ lifespan. I’m also very aware that it wouldn’t have been possible without the custom and the super-loyal clientele I’ve gained. So grateful to you guys for letting that one happen for us!!! I’ll never forget receiving that plaque with my girlfriend there as moral support, and giving my best shot at some public speaking… yeah, you seen the video… If not, I’m sure you could go back on the social media and watch it…

November – became a ‘Movember Rated Barber’ to help with a cause close to home, and raised £500 for the Movember Foundation by shaving off the beard for the first time since I had grown it! It was a cool achievement and I was happy to have raised as much for the cause. But also, It was an incredible self-growth kind of journey for me, as I held such a massive chunk of my self esteem in that beard. Shaving it off and bearing my face to everyone was a big deal to me and I came out, in the end, feeling better than ever really. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s too attached to the face fuzz!

The end of November also saw the arrival of…. FREEHOUNDS APPAREL!!! Now this was one of the coolest ones for me. Creating, and wearing my own clothing brand has been a little thing in the back of my mind for a long time. Ever since I wanted to be a tattoo artist all those moons ago, I had the little idea lurking. This brand, the shop and my clients allowed me to do that. The plan is to actually keep going with this on the side and let it become whatever it will be. I’d love it to be another serious avenue for the brand to go down because I love independent clothing brands. I believe my brand works well for apparel and that the options here are almost limitless. I’m glad you all enjoyed the first line, and hope that you continue to enjoy future products! Let’s see how far we can take Freehounds Apparel!!!

So that would be all of the high points of the year, I would say. It also goes without saying that – being able to come into my own workplace, cut my own clients hair every day fully booked, make enough money to pay my bills AND live being the ONLY barber in the bloody shop – are the constant high points. Now, here’s my final thought coming off the back of 2018, going into the future;

When something monumental happens, it gives you that buzz. That pride and sense of achievement that you feel, is irreplaceable. But that itch never leaves. A couple of days later you’re chasing that next buzz. It’s like when you get home from your holiday but you just want to keep the party going. Or the day after Christmas. But that’s important to hold on to. Never be complacent. Stay hungry!!! That’s the kind of all round vibe of 2018. So here’s to 2019, and the future of Freehounds. It’s been amazing up ‘til now, but as far as I’m concerned, it really is only the beginning. The surface has merely been scratched. Help me continue to take this brand to the limits!!! Always grateful.