On January's SLCKR Community Spotlight, we sat down with Geno Brancati, owner and operator of Broadway Barber Lounge in Fort Edward, New York. We've known Geno for about 3 years now, and he is a dear friend. It's been an honor to grow together.
What's good Geno! Tell us about yourself. Who is Geno Brancati?
"I’m from the 518, Hudson Falls, A small town in Upstate New York.
Before hair I was really into my athletic career. Being an all state athlete in football and wrestling with college offers, all I ever wanted to be was an athlete. I always loved to compete and lead my community."
What brought you to cutting hair?
"I always had an interest in fashion and arts. The creative freedom that barbering presented was intriguing. In my experience, traditional schooling always felt so rigid. I felt like it restricted people’s creativity, critical thinking, and time.
I saw one of my good friends Jordan Maynard (@jordanrootsbarberco) in a similar situation, as he withdrew from college and entered barber school. I started getting my hair cut by Jordan in Fall of 2015 during my first semester of college and I instantly felt moved in my soul that I had found my passion and calling. I found a career that I could be my unique self. Barbering gave me the opportunity to lead a team, foster a community, and reach heights that I never would have thought to be possible."
It's well known in this industry that the artistic passion for hair can fade over time. What keeps you going and getting out of bed each morning?
"I love the versatility of this industry. There’s something in it for everyone.
Do you want to make money? There’s plenty of that to make. Do you miss the thrill of competing and limelight? You enter a competition and compete or showcase in front of crowds on stages. Are you lacking camaraderie, and community? You'll find that the barbershop has it; there’s at least one in every community.
This industry allows us to be unique and self-sufficient, all while constantly having opportunity for growth.
What gets me out of bed is the calling god has for me everyday. The calling to lead my barbershop and treat customers with excellence, and dive deep into my craft, meditatively operating my passion, while also making a living for myself and my family."
In your opinion, what makes barbershops special?
"What makes a barbershop special is the cultural diversity. It can feel like a locker room from time to time. A bunch of people kicking it together, music bumping, great vibes. We talk about literally anything. I see so much trust and vulnerability in my barbershop in a world that is lacking that."
What’s most important to you beyond the chair?
"Beyond the chair what’s most important to me is my wife and son, my relationship with god, and my film and photo career. My spirituality has guided me and given my life purpose. I feel honored everyday to be a leader for my son, who I plan to groom into a man who is full of love, respect, and is unconditionally himself."
That's all for this months SLCKR Community Spotlight. Be sure to keep us with Geno on Instagram at @genobrancatihair to follow along his journey.
The SLCKR Community Spotlight is a monthly installment of real stories of our diverse community. From seasoned barbers to new, we're highlighting the authentic narratives that make our community unique. Barbershops aren't just for haircuts; they're cultural hubs, and the SLCKR Community Spotlight is all about recognizing that. Join us each month for candid and inspiring narratives beyond the barber's chair.