February's SLCKR Spotlight features our guy Robert Gravis, otherwise known as @choppedbyrob. Rob is a Houston native and the co-founder of Visionnaire studio. He is an entrepreneur, a barber, and a content creator. Rob is just 21 years of age, but his wisdom and accomplishments rank well beyond his years. We chatted with Rob about finding purpose in life, putting in the work to reach lofty goals, and positioning himself for a life beyond barbering.



Who is Robert Gravis? Where are you from? What’s important to you in life? 

"Who am I… Oddly enough I’ve sat here 20 minutes trying to put this summary into words. Im 21 years old, born and raised in the suburbs of Houston. Since I’ve graduated highschool, I’ve truly found my identity through Jesus Christ. Before that, I felt lost and had no idea who Rob was or what my purpose was. The most important thing to me in life is God and family. I’ve been blessed with a close knit family. As I grow older and wiser, that’ll be something I seek to hold onto no matter what avenue of life I’m in." 



You have a very different mindset than most people your age. How would you describe that mindset and what instilled that mindset in you? 

"I was born in the suburbs, but my parents weren’t making a whole lot of money. However, we were blessed to always have food on our table, clothes on our back, and everything we could possibly need. My parents worked extensively for my sister and I. They sacrificed so much.

I lived such an innocent life until I lost one of my closest friends to suicide during highschool. It was at that moment I realized how real the world was. My heart was broken and I fell into a battle with my emotions and mind. I hate feeling like a victim. I’m not at all. I’m blessed. But this situation in itself completely shifted my mindset in life. I recognized what in life was really important. I realized who I wanted to be and God took my hand from that point on."



You went from barber school to owning your own business in just two years time. How did you get there so fast?

"My brother Andyblesshandz and I opened our own studio 12 months after we graduated barber school.

A couple weeks after I graduated barber school, I got a job at FedEx. I would work the 4/5 AM shift at FedEx and cut hair in the afternoon. My brother Andy was working in insurance, so he too was grinding the mornings and cutting in the afternoons. We did that until we moved into our studio. This allowed us to save as much money as possible. We pushed the limits of both jobs until it negatively impacted barbering, that’s when we began to ease off the morning jobs.

I remember working 5am Saturday at FedEx till about 11am. I would go home, shower, eat and get to the shop by noon. I would stay there till about 8pm. I wasn’t at all booked out but I was at the shop for the entire 8 hours. I would then go home, eat, take a 2 hour nap, then clock back in at FedEx at 11pm and work till 4am. Guess what? I would just repeat these days over and over and over. I had my mind set on what I wanted. And I pushed my body to the limits until I couldn’t anymore. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it. I’m just glad I did."




Tell us a little bit about your business. What’s it about? What’s your goal with it?

"My business now consists of strictly barbering and barbering lifestyle content. I plan to expand into the entertainment aspect on YouTube and transition to being a SMP artist. I love barbering, & I don’t think I would ever completely stop. But I don’t see myself behind the chair for much longer. I know I’m young, I haven’t even been cutting for half a decade, but believe God brought me into this industry to use it as a step to my next chapter. Full time content? Maybe a pastor? I don’t know. I have a lot on my heart. I trust His plan, so as of right now, I’m just L - i - v - i - n."



You recently have experienced some significant growth in your social media following. What has been the key to your success here? How do you balance work, life, and an online image?

"I started 2023 off with about 2000 followers and ended a little over 20k. At the time of this writing, I’m at 31k. Ive been very blessed with the growth and the platform that I have. The key to balancing it is understanding the purpose of my platform. It’s not to be famous or to seek validation from the world. I aspire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I aspire to showcase a healthy lifestyle, and just overall bring joy and positivity to people’s lives. The friend I lost in high school, I looked up to him like a big brother. I looked to him like he could do no wrong. He was my brother for real. The way he gave me someone to look up to, I pray to be for someone else. RIP KJ, I love you brother ❤️"


What does the barbershop mean to you?

"The barbershop has changed my life. Say what you want about the industry, but I became a man in this industry. I found who I am in this industry. I found God again, because of this Industry. God used barbering to save my life. I can’t imagine my life without it. I love barbering, and I’m proud to have this chapter in my book.

Although I’ve always said I don’t want to be known as just a barber - one of the things I’m most proud to say about myself is that I am a barber. Going back to question 1, who is Rob? Who is Robert Gravis. He’s a man of Christ. A barber. An entrepreneur. A visionary. I’m blessed & grateful. If you made it this far, I appreciate the time you took to get to know me. If I could leave you with just one more thing - you are loved. You are special, & you are one of a kind. Don’t ever give up. This world is brighter with you in it. I hope my words bring any inspiration to you. For don’t look up to me, because my inspiration is from God. He’s worthy of all the praise."



For more Rob, make sure to follow him on the gram @choppedbyrob. See you next month family 🫶


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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