After eight years of American Crew experience, Patti Davenport was named 2014’s International All-Star of the Year, an honor she names as the apex of her career. Davenport has always gravitated toward men’s grooming services. “Working on men’s hair is like working on a sculpture—you can see it taking form, and I find that exciting,” she says.
In 2004, a strange twist of fate led a newly licensed Davenport to the door of Groom for Men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is owned by American Crew’s Technical Director Theri DeJoode and another American Crew All-Star, Erica Grabczyk. While paging through a tourist guide, Davenport learned of the salon.
“I had no idea the luck I had stumbled upon,” she says. “I interviewed with Theri and Erica and was accepted into their apprenticeship program. They were my introduction to the American Crew brand and method.”
After traveling to New Zealand in 2005, Davenport moved to Tucson, Arizona, earned her instructor’s license, and opened a barbershop and barber school with the goal of training and recruiting from within. It was during this time that she realized her love of teaching and began to educate with American Crew. Raised in a family of educators, combining her passion for hair with her desire to teach was only natural, according to Davenport.
When a corporate position opened at American Crew in 2010, Davenport joined the company as an education manager, and returned to where her career began at Groom for Men, where she was appointed director of shaving and skincare. While she found her time in the salon to be rewarding, Davenport felt her heart was in education and left her position to return to freelance work with the team.
Davenport’s current role has afforded her the opportunity to travel internationally with American Crew, as well as pursue her passions for equestrian riding and leatherworking.
“I love to be teaching,” she says. “I really am living the dream.”
Q & A with Patti Davenport
ST: How is a male client a valuable client?
Davenport: It’s a common misnomer that because men’s haircuts are less expensive, you could make more on female clients doing a service like color. Let’s say a man is in at the beginning of the month for a $50 haircut, which may take 20 minutes. In two weeks, he may be in for a $25 trim, which is a 10-minute service. Right there, that client is bringing me $75 and I’ve worked on him for 30 minutes. Additionally, once you turn a male client on to a styling product or shampoo and conditioner, they will become regular customers.
ST: How can having a male grooming specialist help a salon grow business?
Davenport: Investing in a staff member to be a men’s specialist pays off. People start to talk when they see a good haircut. If a man likes his friend’s haircut, he’s going to ask for a referral, and that’s how a groomer’s business will begin to build. Those appointments are usually 30 minutes or less, and you can fit a lot more into a day. Having a men’s groomer on the team will help to complement the entire salon environment without taking business away from other stylists.
ST: What Crew classes would you recommend to stay on top of trends?
Davenport: Our hands-on field classes are a great way to experience a sample of what we have to offer at American Crew. We offer clipper cutting, shear work and feather razor cutting, as well as courses that cover our latest collections.
ST: Why is American Crew perfect to help train a men’s groomer?
Davenport: We have it all: the brand men recognize, a strong and informed sales team, and an amazingly talented education team. A salon owner can rest assured that every touchpoint within the company has well-versed and very knowledgeable people. We offer education that covers: building a men’s business, marketing to men, cutting and styling men’s hair, straight-razor shaving, editorial men’s grooming, selling-through to the male consumer and empowering stylists to make them confident grooming experts.
ST: What advice do you have for a stylist looking to specialize in men’s grooming?
Davenport: Get all the education you can!
Click here to learn Davenport's advice for gaining male clientele.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.