My wife and I were attending one of many 3 year olds’ parties that my daughter (little Miss Popular) had been invited too. Another attendee was a lady who had been our daughter’s key worker at her nursery who was with her partner, Rob, and I can only describe him as a guy with one damn fine beard! It was elegant, well groomed and fitted his face shape perfectly. I’m not sorry – it was fucking awesome!
Though I felt a sense of great achievement with what I had growing on my chin, there was I suppose a little embarrassment because my beard was in no way any competition for his. It also didn’t help that my wife compounded my embarrassment by telling my new found Pogonophile friend that I had no clue what to do with mine.
Rob was very gentle and kind and began to tell me about a great barber -Mr Robinson’s – in the centre of Rugby, that he went to and that I should pop in and see them, they would give me the guidance I needed. He told me that I could find them on Facebook, I put MISTER ROBINSON’S into my Facebook search and there it was!
Rob finished by complimenting me on my beard (to be honest I think he was just being polite), little did I know that this was something I was going to have to get use to.
One thing I need to point out here is that I haven’t been into a barbers in probably 20 years and no I didn’t have ridiculously long hair! I have curly hair, something I have never really liked and so for the last 20 years I have used a shaver and shaved my hair short, very short for three main reasons: it was convenient; cost affective and curtailed the bloody curls!
So on the Monday after speaking with Rob at the weekend, I walked into Mr Robinson’s feeling rather nervous and a little apprehensive. This was compounded when I looked round and saw a fairly busy place and everyone looked cool, well groomed and ‘on trend’. I was neither cooler well groomed or ‘on trend’. I was decidedly hot, scruffy and so far off trend I was wonky.
Hayleiigh then asked: ” would you like a cut throat?” “No, no, no …. Someone to sort it out?!” I stuttered, not really knowing what I should ask for! Hayleiigh kindly said ” I’ll fetch Matt …. Come and sit down .. Do you want a coffee?”
Now, I knew that Matt was aka Matt Robinson aka Mister Robinson …. The Boss! So as I sat waiting with my coffee I started to feel a little excited in nervous anticipation that The Boss was going to take care of me.
Sometimes, you meet someone who seems to have something about them – an air about them. Meeting Matt was one of these such occasions (seeing Matt on further visits cemented that feeling). Matt comes across as a kind, thoughtful, genuine guy, who not only knows his trade, but you can see and feel his passion for it, also after future visits I realised that he surrounds himself with others also passionate about what they do, which is great when running a business.
Matt came out from the back and directed me through to what I’m going to call the throne room; his boudoir studio (that’s kinda how it felt). This was the place where Matt had all his tools of the trade and concoctions to work with and create his master pieces …. and I was going to be one of them!
As I sat checking out all the memorabilia and hair care paraphernalia, drinking my coffee, Matt asked, with some eagerness, if it was OK for a couple of trainees to watch what was going on as it was a good opportunity.
Now, I’m all for training, but all I could think about was that I must look like some hill-billy that has come out of the wild and needed taming, or that it wasn’t very often they had someone in with such a mess to tidy up! I was a blank, or rather, very hairy canvas.
Matt talked through every detail, explained everything that he was doing -I learnt a lot that day. It was clear that Matt was a great teacher and I would like to believe that Freddie and Maisie (the trainees) also picked up something too. (Maisie has since given me a tidy up and did a wonderful job.)
I did however get a telling off for a couple of things. Firstly for my lack of product care for my beard …. beard oil! …. In my defence this was my first beard and I didn’t even know about beard oil until Matt told me (I bought some that day, Apothecary87 original recipe).
Secondly I had been shaving what I thought were straggly hairs on my cheek which caused my beard to be kind of L shaped around my jaw line, Matt said, “God did not make straight lines!! … Curves my friend!”
As we finished Matt went over how I should look after my beard and suggested that I come back in two weeks for him to put things back in the right direction and complete my eduction (time for the hair on my cheeks to grow back).
I left feeling amazing, I had had an experience, a wonderful experience and I went away feeling, well, cool! (Does that expression show my age?)
Since then I have been going back every two weeks for my ‘tidy up’. I saw Matt on my return and then saw Ali a true gent and who always does an awesome job. I then had to change the day I visited so Tracey took over who is also truly awesome, though I think she is just glad to see someone fairly tall so that she can stand up straight to work on her art!
I follow Mr Robinson’s on Instagram (@mrrobinsons) and I will know when my beard, tashe and style hit a peak as I will get my photo on the Mr Robinson’s wall of fame -on their Instagram feed.
Although I know that’s unlikely – they showcase some of the great styles that are created and show off the fantastic talent that is behind the doors at Mr Robinson’s.
Through Instagram I have seen the huge amount of work that Matt not only puts into his business but also puts into the local community, supporting some great local charities most notably @Rugbeards (which was founded by the guys at Garden Gate Florists).
I briefly spoke to Matt about this and how he helped them find 15 guys with beards for a photo shoot (they had their beards decorated with flowers) which helped to raise funds for a local charity – Hope4- which supports the homeless in Rugby.
If there was one critique, for someone who loves coffee so much there isn’t really the opportunity to get one at the barbers, but I’m sure Matt is aware of this and it is on his to do list!
I think the only thing I haven’t covered is the community spirit, the family feel when you enter the place, everyone is greeted as though you were only there yesterday. Other clients compliment each other on there styles, beards and just down right dapper looks.
I am sure that there are barbershops similar up and down the country, but this one is mine and its in my town.
I always come away from the place feeling impressed and inspired, I have a huge amount of respect for Matt which is strange on how little I really know the guy
We all go to Mr Robinson’s and we have our trim, we pay our money ….but we leave with more than that and how can you put a price on that? You can’t …
Have a dapper day cloud chasers!
MOD & juice: Dripex DBOX 30W with an Aspire Triton tank – 1.8ohm coil. Mole Juice – Strawberry Jughurt 0.6mg (lovely, easily an all day vape!)
Haircare: Apothecary87 original recipe beard oil and a little Layrite pomade to calm the tashe (which I also use in my hair)