Tee the Barber, came from a long line of haircuters. He, growing up, never thought he would follow in the footsteps of his family and become a barber. It was not something he was very interested in. However, the position he was put in pushed him into that occupation. He ended up working in both of his parents’ shops to make ends meet. He wanted to do more and tried to branch out outside of his home.
“I came from a background in hair; my mother and father both were hair professionals almost my entire life. It only made sense for me to follow. I didn’t follow their footsteps until I found myself sick of a position that I was working for under a local electric firm in Polk County, Florida. I didn’t have much, I was on my own at the time, and I was put in a ‘fight or flight’ scenario and had to figure out how to make ends meet. I was working in my mother’s salon within Polk County, I was making ends meet, however, it wasn’t enough for me.” Says Tee.
Because of this need to cut hair, Tee realized that he had a talent for cutting hair. He knew that he could do more than just being a normal barber. He knew that he could harness the power of social media to change the way that he cut hair.
“At the time, Instagram and youtube were taking off with rapid growth. I saw industry influencers via Instagram have massive success within the barbering industry which I didn’t think was possible for me. My hunger to expand my barbering career forced myself to network and connect with as many industry professionals as I possibly could. I began flying from state to state with pennies to the dollar to my name in order to expand my network and make a comfortable living via barbering.” Recounts Tee.
Tee was inspired by other barbers he had seen making a name for themselves via Instagram and youtube. His life was changed when he met Dave Diggs. Dave was one of these barbers that had made a name for himself on social media. The two men immediately clicked, and Tee decided to drop everything to be a barber with Dave.
“At a barbering event in Orlando, Florida of 2016, I met Dave Diggs, a barbershop owner out of San Jose, CA. Having seen his barbering success from following him on Instagram, I sparked a conversation with him to pick his brain on how I could reach levels of success as well. Shortly afterward, this conversation led me to dropping everything I had in Florida and establishing a new role alongside Dave Diggs over at The Barbers Inc barbershop in San Jose, California.” Remembers Tee.
This leap of faith was incredibly terrifying for Tee, but it paid off in huge ways. He was able to become a massively successful barber and uses Instagram to continue his hard work and promote himself. Tee is now the official barber for all of the NFL organizations in the area, which has only increased his notoriety.
“It was a very scary decision to leave what I had in Florida to pursue a new opportunity in a brand-new place turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I was able to quadruple my barbering income within two years, able to establish my own barbering product line, be hired as the CFP National Championship official barber as well as earning the title of the official barber of local NFL organizations in the bay area. Being laid off from my electrical position changed my life. Moving from Florida to the Bay Area to expand my barbering career took it to a whole other level which I never thought would have been possible.” Explains Tee.
Tee wants others to know his story because it shows how you can change your life by promoting yourself and taking a leap of faith. He was put in a terrible situation, but managed to find his way out of it because he refused to give up. He had the support of his family and was able to revolutionize himself because of his choices.
“I essentially had no choice. My experience in the hair industry started early. Do or die. Fight or flight. When I ran out of options I turned to what I had been around my whole life which was hair. I eventually fell in love with the hair industry. I fell more in love with the relationships I build with my clients and coworkers and other industry leaders which inspires me to be more involved within this industry. I want to be known for the person who inspires people to become the best versions of themselves. I want to be known for showing young people that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. I want the youth to know that there’s always a positive way out and I hope that they will see my story and it inspires them to make wise choices. I am the person who stood tall through thick and thin and never gave up on my dreams no matter the obstacle.” Asserted Tee.
If you want to learn more about Tee, you can follow him on instagram @tee_dabarber.