In March's edition of SLCKR Community Spotlight we got to chat with Brandon Herrera ( Brandon is the owner and operator of Sanctuary ATL (sanctuary.atl), a curated grooming experience in Midtown Atlanta with a Pinterest board worthy design. Come with us as we explore Brandon's Journey from AT&T clerk to recent shop owner.



Who is Brandon Herrera? Where are you from?

"I'm a barber as well as the founder and owner of Sanctuary ATL. I am originally from Miami, Florida. Shortly after I relocated to Ocala, Florida and have since moved to Atlanta 6 years ago."

You had an interesting career path before barbering. Can you speak a little bit about that and what led to your decision to enroll in barber school?  

"Initially I saw myself in a lifelong career at AT&T in the corporate world. I worked there for over 5 years, eventually feeling drained and not content. I made the spontaneous decision to enroll in barber school. For a year, I was balancing it with my corporate job working 9-5 then attending barber school at night. Looking back it was the most rewarding and fulfilling decision I have made in my life so far.


You recently opened up your own shop. Sanctuary ATL. When did you first set your eyes on opening a shop and how long did it take from that decision to the day your doors opened?

"From the moment I stepped foot in barber school, I had a clear vision to one day open my own barbershop. It's a dream shared by many in the industry. I knew achieving in this craft would take relentless practice and dedication. I knew I couldn’t just graduate and open up my own shop immediately.

For four years I had the opportunity to work alongside some skilled barbers and master my own skills before opening up my own studio during covid. I stayed in the studio for two years before taking the leap and signing a lease for a brick-and-mortar location. Now, after a year of this new chapter, I have my own barbershop that reflects my passion for the craft."

You went from a one man studio to a shop owner managing 4 barbers on top of your own book. How has that transition been for you?

"The studio space taught me so much, I learned a lot about myself inside that little 7x7 box. I knew that my heart wasn’t in a confided small space about a year into it and decided to start looking for bigger spaces. The transition from studio to shop to be honest has been a lot easier than I anticipated. I think it’s about who you bring on and understanding each other as colleagues.

I’m fortunate enough to work along side some of my good friends, so work doesn’t feel like work. Owning a bigger space definitely comes with a lot more stress and worries. There's some things that I’m still learning along the way, but that's the beauty in it. Take it as it comes and enjoy the hiccups. Nothing worth having comes easy."


The shop is stunning from a design perspective. Design and aesthetic seems to be a very important part of your life. Where do you get inspiration from and how do you transform that inspiration into a living, breathing space?

"I get my inspiration from a variety of different angles - places I’ve visited, my favorite retail stores, other barbershops. My go to inspiration comes from the many different things I see on blogs, pinterest, and instagram.

When I was in high school, I thought I would become an architect. I've always appreciated designing spaces and transforming something into real life.

Turning ideas into actual reality is where it gets tough. It’s easy to click and buy stuff you see online in said blogs…but sometimes not so cost friendly. So budgeting and grabbing different things from places like ikea.. all the way to antique stores here locally in ATL and, yes, even amazon.  It’s not where you get it from, it’s how you make it look! 

I funded this shop myself and had to find ways to fit all my crazy ideas into my budget."


What can we expect to see from Sanctuary ATL in 2024?

"We are striving to continue providing the best cuts in Atlanta. Now, since I have the foundation up, I can start to focus more on merch and events enhancing the overall experience for our clientele. We have something cooking up for our one year anniversary party, so stay tuned for that."


 That's all for this months SLCKR Community Spotlight. Make sure to keep up with Brandon on Instagram and @sanctuary.atl for more. You might learn a thing or two on all things cutting, design, and more. See y'all next month!



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. 

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