Ever wonder what fuels the drive and creativity of top players in the barbering world? In an industry where the early bird truly catches the worm, it's fascinating to discover what gets these creatives going first thing in the morning. That’s exactly the premise behind the ingenious new concept campaign, 'What a Boss Eats for Breakfast,' led by the industry veteran Byrd Mena and the emerging talent Jorge Espada. Through this campaign, they’ve orchestrated an artistic space where each haircut is more than just a style—it’s an empowering message to start your day right.
This isn’t just another collection; it’s a cultural shift, aiming to bring the same level of artistic gravitas to barbering that we often see in fashion and hairdressing. In this blog, we're pulling back the curtain to reveal the inspiration, challenges, and triumphs behind the scenes of this groundbreaking project.
From Mentor to Creative Catalyst: Byrd's Vision
Byrd’s mentorship program, is a creative haven for 12 artists scattered across the U.S., each unique in their role within the program. One such talent is Jorge Espada, a 28-year-old barber from Wisconsin who expressed a burning desire to dive into the creative projects of the hair and barbering industry.
"In the beginning, Jay told me he wanted to be part of something like I was doing. He had ideas, so many of them," Byrd recalls. So, the two sat down and brainstormed non-stop about the project. After tossing around several ideas, they both locked in on one concept: food. More specifically, breakfast. "When you start your day with breakfast, you're the boss of your day," Byrd explains.
Taking the Creative Reins: Jorge Espada's Evolution in the Barbering World
Jorge Espada, while not new to barbering, was venturing into the uncharted territory of conceptual creativity. Originally beginning his journey in cosmetology, it was his wife who encouraged him to pivot towards barbering—a move that set the wheels of destiny in motion. Crossing paths with Byrd Mena at a barbering competition changed the trajectory of his career. It wasn't just a meeting; it was an awakening to the larger creative possibilities within the industry.
"The journey from concept to execution was a rollercoaster of emotions," Jorge shares. He was entering a domain far removed from the day-to-day of a typical barbershop, and the stakes felt higher than ever. "Working with Byrd wasn’t like having a cheat sheet; it was like having a friend guiding me and supporting me. He didn't hand me the answers but helped shape my raw ideas into something more focused," he elaborates. For Jorge, the most significant hurdle was taking charge of the entire creative direction. The campaign demanded him to be more than a barber; it required him to be a visionary.
The Shoot Day Unveiled: Navigating The Creative Waters
"As someone who typically prefers to stay in the background, the idea of directing people was initially daunting for me," Jorge confesses. Under Byrd's mentorship, he was encouraged to construct a vision board to help articulate his creative direction. "Constructing that vision board was simultaneously the most challenging and enlightening part of this entire experience," Jorge elaborates. "It was overwhelming because, for the first time, I had to vocalize and commit to the intricate details of my creative thought process. Everything, from the color palette of the scenes, the style of outfits, down to the accessories and the specific hairstyles—had to be meticulously thought out."
But the effort was well worth it. "When the cameras started rolling on the day of the shoot, that's when the magic happened. Everything clicked into place as if the vision board had breathed life into the studio," he continues.
"The moment we wrapped up, I finally felt like I could breathe again. It was as if I'd been holding my breath, not wanting to betray any emotion or doubt throughout the process. I let it all out because, until that moment, the project had been a secret. The sense of release—and relief—was indescribable," Jorge shares with heartfelt sincerity.
This experience, he says, didn't just make him a better barber artist; it also gave him the confidence and skills to be a thoughtful, impactful creative leader in the industry.
The Takeaway: More Than Just a Campaign
The "What a Boss Eats for Breakfast" project serves as more than just an eye-catching collection; it's an embodiment of what can be achieved when creativity is fueled by collaboration and mentorship. For Byrd, this venture was an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the vibrant barbering community. For Jay, it became an essential milestone in not only his professional growth but also his personal journey toward self-realization and creative freedom.
This experience underlines the power of community and mentorship in the world of barbering and beauty. Having a mentor like Byrd didn't mean Jay was simply following orders or using someone else's playbook. Instead, it was about fostering an environment where Jay felt free to explore his own ideas and take creative risks, all while knowing he had a sounding board and a supportive guide. Byrd’s role was not to overshadow or dictate but to amplify and refine Jay’s creative essence.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is never easy. Jorge admits the process was intense; however, the presence of a supportive mentor and a clear vision made it all worthwhile. From organizing meticulous details to overcoming personal barriers, each challenge faced was a lesson learned, an experience that would shape future endeavors.
So, when you’re buttering your toast or pouring your morning coffee, remember that you are indeed the boss of your day, setting the tone for the opportunities and challenges ahead. "Kicking off the day with the right energy sets the stage for a fulfilling, productive day," Byrd wisely concludes. And really, could there be any better way to start your day?