In 2011 the United States declared October 11th to be the International Day of the Girl. This day was the result of youth advocacy. The mission of this day is “ to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
In a world that tends to be led by men…this day is dedicated to women all over the world who have overcome gender boundaries. Women have accomplished so many different things. Every time a woman accomplishes something that may be male dominated, we get closer to being viewed as true equals.
One male dominated field that many women have broken through is the Barber industry. It is very rare that you see a female barber when you walk into a barbershop. In fact, the first time I ever saw a female barber it was Eve’s character Terri Jones in BarberShop. I have always been curious as to what a female barber goes through and what obstacles she has had to overcome to get to her chair.
I think it’s way past due to give our female barbers recognition.
Meet RaChelle, She is a female barber from Gary, Indiana who has overcome so many barriers to get to her chair. She is currently the only female Barber at EA Fadez located in Merrillville, Indiana.
How long have you been a barber?
I have been a barber for two years.
Where did you go to school and did you endure any obstacles while obtaining your license?
I attended Success Barber School in Hobart Indiana. Yes, my biggest obstacle was finding the confidence in myself and to work hard enough to produce a good haircut. If I make one wrong move then I can potentially ruin a good haircut. It was a little nerve wrecking in the beginning. I wanted to be flawless knowing it’s going to take time and repetition to reach that type of perfection.
What made you want to become a barber?
I always wanted to work for myself…I just never really knew exactly how to put that in motion. After watching one of my close friends cut and seeing how much of a male dominated field it was…I knew that my personality and hustle would allow me to flourish in this business. I have always been inspired by making a person look and feel good. I can literally transform their entire appearance and that alone made me excited. My close friend told me that if I was going to do this then I had to do it the right way. From that point I went to school and started to execute my plan of becoming my own boss and one of the most successful females in this male dominated field.
Does being in a male dominated field intimidate you at all?
It did at first, but now …at this point I feel like they have to respect my hustle or get out hustled.
Do you feel like you have to work harder?
Yes, I do feel like I have to work twice as hard to be considered an “equal”.
What are some qualities that you feel like make you stand out as a female barber?
My personality, compassion for my clients , and how I represent myself is what makes me stand out. I think blending my brand with my personal style attracts my clients.
Do you do any special things for the community, if so what?
EA Fadez gives free haircuts to disabled kids. As for myself, I am putting together a kid appreciation day and I will give out free haircuts to them. I will also do a Father’s Day dedication and cut their hair for free too. I am also looking forward to doing more work with disabled kids.
What keeps you motivated?
I motivate myself knowing that I have to be the best at what I do. I want to be recognized for being an elite woman in a male dominated field. I also want to be able to help kids in the future through business ventures. I want to be able to employ them in my shop. I want to teach them about life just by being in the position I am in.
What is your favorite cut to do?
My favorite cut is the Taper fade.
What are three songs that you NEED to play while you’re cutting hair?
My three favorite songs that I love to listen to while cutting are Can I Live by Jay Z, You don’t know by Jay Z, and Next Lifetime Erykah Badu.
There are so many women like RaChelle who are not recognized for accomplishments like these. It is super important to always lift up women like this because they have overcome so many obstacles to get into the position they are in. Women need to stick TOGETHER and in my eyes this is what National Day of the girl represents!
To connect with RaChelle you can follow her on social media.
Merrillville, Indiana 46410