Tasha Flynn – Manager of Fat Tony’s Barbershop
I started out in the hairdressing industry but had a desire to establish myself in the barbering world as it was considered a male dominated environment and I love a challenge. This was the driving force behind my change in careers and I was determined to establish myself.
When retraining as a barber I faced many challenges. One of these was being avoided by some customers for being female but this only pushed me on to gain as much knowledge and continually upskill and work hard on my barbering craft. Now 15 years later, with nearly a decade with Fat Tony’s, I am a manager of one of its biggest shops and very proud to have an extensive clientele. I am continually sharing my knowledge and skills, I have developed to the next generation of barbers, especially female barbers and I am immensely proud of this.
Fat Tony’s barber shop opened its doors in 2003 in Galway, in the west of Ireland. Upon opening, it never shied away from pushing boundaries and prided itself in being ahead of the game. As I write Fat Tony’s has 5 shops, proudly boasting 11 female barbers out of the team of 38 staff. As a chain we pride ourselves on creating an experience for our customers – from the old school feel the initial impact is one of elegance and when customers step through the door they see how contemporary and diverse we are. Producing a whole range of experiences from skilfully executed haircuts and traditional hot towel shaves to our groom room where we offer massage, specialised skin care and waxing. The industry is a lifestyle and as an ode to this we have an array of high-end brands like Dickies, Carhartt, King Kerosin and our very own brand of clothing and hair products. With the best coffee around to boot, it truly is a place to be.
At Fat Tony’s our ethos is quality and barbers who care. There can be no doubt that upon entering our home you are met with vibrant talented barbers where personality is key to our success. I strive to have a happy workplace – full of laughter and craic and I think this is one of the things that makes us stand out from other establishments. Long gone are the days of just a haircut we have long moved on from here. I am incredibly proud to be a part of creating a work environment that is professional and lively; where clients become friends.
‘Barberswhocare’ is a movement we started and is something I am very passionate about. In a world of uncertainty, mental health needs to be prioritised. Through the ‘Barberswhocare’ you can count on your Fat Tony’s barber to be an ear who listens. No topic is considered off-limits. Barbers are more than a service for haircuts and the clients in our chairs feel comfortable to talk and this is actively encouraged. We saw a need for more to be offered to our clients and I am proud to be a part of the creation of the movement. At Fat Tony’s, we want you to leave looking good, feeling good both physically and mentally. Over the years through Fat Tony’s I have engaged in many projects highlighting the importance of mental health among our peers. I will continue to pursue and develop this and know that the need is even greater since COVID 19 hit our industry.
My journey as a female barber has been catapulted into many different streams upon joining Fat Tony’s; Guinness World Record involvement, hair competitions, and photoshoots to name just a few. My ideas and talents were always met with encouragement and respect. I implore female barbers all over the world to push on and strive to reach new heights in their career paths. In the Liosban shop, I have an incredible team of 9 barbers from all walks of life, my fellow female barber Michelle is a part of this team and she has exceptional talent and skills as a barber. She also has an infectious vibrancy which I and the team bounce off. On the floor with Michelle, we are continually carving our place and paving the way for female barbers in the barbering world. I am excited to see what the future holds for female barbers as a whole in the industry. Female barbers are vital to the future of the industry. A final word to thank Fat Tony’s John McGuire (owner) for always being a visionary, a mentor, a friend, and believing in female barbers.