Hey, remember a while back when we mentioned that Blademaiden was going to be out of the shop for training? Yep, so that totally happened, and it was fucking epic.
And as far as the population of Chicago now knows (in certain pockets), this group of trainees were not a bunch of hopeful Reuzel Pomade educators, they were a band that happened to be called the #Scumbassadors.
They also sorta stole a limo. Sorta. You’re really going to need to keep reading, because there’s a sizable photo gallery…
A few months ago, Reuzel put out a call for anyone who wanted to become an educator for one of the finest pomade brands in the world to submit a video of us cutting and talking product.
So it seems 400 people did, and of all those, 20 of them were flown to Chicago to train with the biggest baddies in the world of barbering today – Leen and Bertus of Schorem Haarsnijder En Barbier, Nelis Barbier of The Old School, George Accattato, master educator and hair legend with Art+Science, American Crew, MensDept., Vidal Sassoon, Bumble and Bumble, Shu Uemura and Pivot Point International, and Becca May, educator extraordinaire.
Blademaiden, one of two who didn’t have to fly in for training, was somehow one of the 20 chosen to go through this rare barber boot camp, and learn up close and personal from the masters. Beardsmith even got to make it down a couple of nights to rabblerouse with the crew.
Not everyone made the final cut, but either way, the ladies and gents who went through this experience together will always remember it (or not, for parts, for some) as one of the best of their lives.
Most of their brains still hurt from all of the knowledge that got crammed in there. It was an absolute honor to stand with this crew of scumbags and learn from the best.
And, spoiler alert, Blademaiden can now officially be called a Scumbassador.
Arrived late at night to Bertus welcoming us to Vegas. Nope, buddy. Pete of Pete’s Barbershop was there and skull chewing happened. Also many hugs.
A sweltering train ride to Steven Papageorge Academy where Leen and Bertus told legendary stories, both professional and as far away from that as you can get, and we got to see our heroes in action from feet away.
Bertus’ model was even none other than Brian Busch, our resident Shop Artist, otherwise known as Blue Steel. Later there was a torrential rainstorm, Uber clusterfuck, delicious pig roast, weird bar times, and whatever happened with that pseudo-stolen limo.
Our first cutting day, traversing the city with heavy tool boxes, searching out great coffee (Dark Matter and the school share a wall, so that worked out well). This was the day that we got knocked around good. Everyone felt like total noobs again under the watchful eye of the ginger Dutchman, Nasty Nelis.
Later, the group stickerbombed things and experienced the legendarily slow service of a tourist hotspot Chicago pizza institution, which Blademaiden probably should have warned them about.
The 8 am coffee crew ventured to Wicker Park for some Wormhole, Blademaiden’s old favorite haunt. Then we had deuling demos from Becca May, George Accattato, and Nelis before doing some more cutting ourselves.
While on the first cutting day Blademaiden’s model didn’t have quite enough hair to do anything spectacular, this day brought an epic head of hair that allowed her to pull out a long trim pomp with fenders and a DA – a holy grail of classic barbering.
The day ended with pockets of hopeful Scumbassadors nervously preparing for teach backs the next day. We all knew we could cut, but could we talk? The next day we would find out.
Not many photos from the last full day, but teach backs were a gauntlet, and dinner was freaking spectacular.
Actual last day of listening to the legendary Laurence Hegarty speak about the industry, product and business for what seemed far too short a time, many hugs were exchanged again as the Scumbassadors said goodbye to each other, hopefully not for the last time. Blademaiden also ran into one of her favorite delightfully eccentric former city clients.
It was such an incredible honor to even be included with this group, much less to be accepted as an official Scumbassador, and Blademaiden hopes to do Reuzel proud in her educational adventures.
But first, she’ll be paying it forward to all the barbers of Beardsgaard. Which means even better hair for you. Might want to go ahead and make your appointment now.