Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Zaugg.
Jordan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
To sum it up, I am Canadian. I am actually American too, being born in the USA and raised in Canada. The story I stick to when people ask me why I’m in Utah is that it’s in the middle. My wife is from California, and myself being from Canada, (southern Alberta to be more precise) Utah is right in the middle. It’s a 12-hour drive to her hometown and a 12-hour drive to mine. However, Utah has so much to offer and is such a great place for families. this is why we are still here. When we first were married, nine and a half years ago, I worked everywhere.
I had a job that took us to Texas where I made good money, then lost it all. we were basically homeless for about four months. I never once had to resort to standing outside with a cardboard box but it was tempting. There were, and are still, systems in place to get help when in such a destitute situation. Actually, my wife was in the middle of her first pregnancy when we became homeless. We pieced ourselves back together a bit and moved to Utah. I tried school, but after being a freshman for more than three semesters and just not getting the hang of school, it was time for me to take a back seat. I worked where I could and my wife went to school. After a few years, I felt like I had finally figured myself out and had my heart set on becoming a fireman.
The generals went well, then the prereqs. I got my EMT License, next to my wild-land certs. I knew this was what I was supposed to do. I began the structured firefighter’s course and a few months in, had to drop out because of health issues. I was completely devastated. My wife was still going to school at the time and we had just had our second baby. So here I was, now a stay-at-home dad, with two kids, and a wife going to school, who I couldn’t take care of. I couldn’t do anything right. I stopped leaving the house for much of anything. I had some really dark moments. my heart hurt and the depth of my depression still haunts me. Even more than six years later, I become emotional just grazing over the memories. This is where my life-changing moment happened. It is hard to keep my eyes dry just talking about it.
I decided to get a haircut and a beard trim. I had my kids loaded up in a wagon and I can only remember dragging them across the city to what I thought was a decent-looking barbershop. they had an opening and took me in. I got a trim for my hair and beard. I could possibly remember what I wanted and what I got, but this is the most important. I remember the experience and feeling of that barbershop. This man, who I had never met in my life, had no idea what I was going through, yet when it was over it was as if this terrible depression never existed. All the things in my head that were pulling me down were now replaced with this incredible experience of being worth something to anybody. this was what I, as a man, needed. I decided I needed to do this for others! The very next day, I got all the paperwork done and signed up for barber school.
After a long year of school, I finally graduated and was licensed in the state of Utah as a barber. I worked in quite a few shops before finally opening my own shop here inside UWM Men’s shop. I have grown and can see my growth. there is so much more to learn and I won’t stop. Barbering to me isn’t just bringing the “old school” traditional services to men (although I do love the “old school’). Barbering is a life-changing experience and my every hope is for each of my clients to feel like they deserve every good thing in their life!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I think there is only the perception of a smooth road from the outside. It’s easy to see the success of someone and think, how lucky they are, or they got everything handed to them. But the struggles and obstacles are usually unseen. there is so much learning and failing. I still fear failure! But it’s necessary for me to fail in different things to learn more about them in business, the list seemed endless.
Taxes, accounting or bookkeeping, product, equipment, insurance, rent, banking, loans, employees, and healthcare. the list goes on. I’m grateful for my clients because it is they who have given me such great advice and I only learned by asking everyone I could, “how do I do this next step?” and honestly, everyone had their experience and their options but in the end, it’s up to you to decide what to do.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Think of what I do as basically traditional barbering. Something I pride myself in is, doing everything freehand. this means every haircut is done without guards or attachments. In place of trimmers, I use a straight razor. You will not find much difference between my routine and the routine of your great grandfather’s barber.
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Ambition! I believe that I have gotten where I am today because when an opening or opportunity arises I grab on to it. It definitely has never been the easy route and I always feel scared to do it, but my ambition to be better and succeed for my family’s sake is my biggest drive. I would give more credit to that than anything else.
- Haircut $40
- Hot shave $50
- beard trim $35
- basic facial $50
- VIP $125
- Website: uwmbarbershop.com
- Instagram: @uwmbarbershop
- Facebook: @uwmbarbershop
Tiffany Marie Photography