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A cut above the rest: Local barbershop owner details his journey

Anthony Hamby, owner of The Shave Cave Barber Lounge.

A cut above the rest: Local barbershop owner details his journey
July 14
14:52 2021

After years of perfecting the craft and working at a few different shops, in 2019 Winston-Salem native Anthony Hamby took a leap of faith and opened his own barber shop. And today, just three years later, The Shave Cave Barber Lounge is arguably the best barbershop in the city. 

Hamby said after graduating from Parkland High School in 2007, he started taking courses at Forsyth Tech Community College (FTCC), but shortly after that he changed his plans when he found out he was going to be a father. “My girlfriend at the time was pregnant and it kind of scared me into doing something sooner and something just brought me to barbering,” Hamby said. 

While working at a full-time job, 19-year-old Hamby enrolled at Winston-Salem Barber School and finished the program in 10 months. To finish the program faster, Hamby said he went every day and on most days he would leave school and go straight to work. Hamby said since he didn’t really have much experience cutting hair, barbering school was intimidating but he was determined to make it through. 

“It was somewhat scary going into it because cutting hair wasn’t something I did, so it was so foreign to me at the time, but I enjoyed it after it was over, of course,” Hamby laughed. “That was my first time as an adult dealing with people on a daily basis and dealing with customers coming back over and over.”

Fresh out of barbering school, Hamby took his talents to The Chop Shop, which is owned by Mont Raiford. Hamby said although he was only at The Chop Shop a few months, he learned a lot from Raiford. From there Hamby went to Impression Hair Design and that’s where he started to make a name for himself. “I went over there and I just started growing,” Hamby said, while thinking back on his journey. 

“It was some challenges getting started, but luckily I was cutting beside my man Tony, who works here with me now, so I just came up under Tony and he gave me some game along the way,” Hamby continued. “To this day, 30% of my clients are people he used to cut … to this day and I’ll always have his back for that. 

“He would tell his clients ‘check him out, he’s better than me’ and barbers ain’t doing that. So once I was getting that type of love from him, I was good; that was all the confidence I needed, the best guy in the shop telling people you’re better than him … you can’t put a price on that.” 

Hamby spent seven years at Impressions before he decided to venture out on his own, when he decided to transform the basement of his home into a barbershop. “When I was looking for a house, I was looking just for this reason. I was looking for a house that I can put this shop in. I wasn’t thinking about nothing else, I’m thinking about the shop,” Hamby laughed. 

It took about eight months to complete the work and when Hamby officially opened, things started to take off. “When I got into my own spot, my clientele increased drastically and it increased so fast that I had to start thinking about opening a bigger shop,” he said.

A year later Hamby officially moved to his current location on Brownsboro Road. He said his plan was to take the atmosphere that he created in the basement and do it on a larger scale. Hamby said his goal was to create an atmosphere that was welcoming to everyone and that starts with the personality of the barbers. He said that atmosphere is what sets The Shave Cave apart from other barbershops. 

“There has to be a certain skill level, but there has to be certain personality as well, and we have some good genuine guys here,” Hamby said. “We have our challenges, but they make it easy to run this shop. Everyone’s personalities just fit and we have a true brotherhood here. I think it’s important to protect that atmosphere because a lot of kids don’t have those male role models and I think the barbershops should be just that, a place filled with role models where kids can come and gain knowledge from.” 

Now that he’s reached his goal of having his own shop, Hamby has set his sights on a new goal: opening a barbering school. 

To receive your instructor’s license in the state of N.C., you must pass a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam is 85 multiple choice questions and for the practical exam, in front of four board members, you must complete a haircut, a shave, a facial, a perm, a relaxer, a bleaching and a hair coloring in under an hour and 30 minutes.

Hamby said the practical exam is probably one of the toughest challenges he’s faced so far, but he’s determined to get it done.

“Since opening the shop, I’ve gained a passion for bringing barbers along and helping them sharpen their skills and master their craft,” Hamby said. “I just love seeing the growth in my guys and that’s really why I want to open a barber school.”

When asked what advice he would give a young entrepreneur who may be having second thoughts about taking that leap of faith, Hamby said, “Keep pushing.” 

“The best advice I can give any young entrepreneur that wants to start their own business is keep driving in that direction,” he said. “Once you see a vision and you see something that you want to do, stick with it and keep pushing. Don’t let people or things deter you from getting where you’re trying to go. You’re going to face challenges, but if you keep going and keep knocking out those obstacles, you’ll understand what you’re truly capable of.” 

The Shave Cave Barber Lounge is located at 4680 Brownsboro Road. For more information or to book an appointment, call 336-448-2000 or visit “The Shave Cave Barber Lounge” on Facebook.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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