Academy Legends: Alumni Dustin Jones

Kyle Richardson#Excellence, Austin, Hair, Springfield, Student Spotlight

Alumni Dustin
Get to know Alumni Dustin Jones!

Alumni Dustin Jones graduated from the Academy of Hair Design in 2019. To say life has been a whirlwind is an understatement. The threat of a global pandemic shutting down the country just as you are jumping into the world of barbering is never something you expect. Did he fold and let this stop him? No way, it just fueled his drive to be the best barber he could be.

We sat down with Dustin to learn how he is taking sour lemons and making lemonade.

How Dustin Decided he wanted to be a Barber:

Dustin always knew he wanted to be a barber, but that wasn’t his original career choice. Before deciding to make a life change and pursue barbering, he spent nine years as a correctional officer. Realizing this path didn’t bring him joy, he left. He went to a job where he could let loose a little with his appearance and express his style the way he wanted. This was an eye-opening experience and gave him insight into his next career choice. We asked Jones what the tipping point for starting a career in barbering. He said he was in the chair it hit him, in a gut-wrenching feeling, that he was not happy with where he was and needed a change.

“It took me 35 years to realize that barbering was something I wanted to do,

and I wish I would have gone for it right out of high school”. Says Jones.


Dustin’s Experience at the Academy!

When Jones was asked about his experience at the Academy, he was excited to share with us what he has learned. “The academy was good for me,” said Jones. He had great instructors that helped him and taught him the fundamentals that he needed to succeed later in his career. He said he was super grateful for the time and training he received and knew it would allow him to go far.

One of the points that Dustin kept going over that in the barbering industry, you cannot stop growing. Whether you are practicing a new technique, watching a youtube video, or going to a training session, it is your job to keep up with what your clients want. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing and if you aren’t growing you become stagnant.

When deciding on the right school, the Academy’s location played a big part in his decision. Once Dustin toured he said that the admissions really sold it. He knew the academy would be the right fit and we were so glad he chose us.

A Day in the Shop with Dustin.

Dustin holds his work to a very high standard. He knows what he provides to his clients and does it with a smile. When Dustin graduated from our program he went to a local barbershop named Dapper. He loved the old-time feel and the true barber experience, however, due to the pandemic and living further away he had to make some economic decisions and find a shop closer to home in Rolla.

Dustin’s goal was to bring the Dapper vibe to Rolla, a town full of college students, and whatever haircut Instagram deems the best at that moment. Dustin knows he is worth the time when it comes to barbering. In his shop, he wants his client to know that he would rather provide quality haircuts over quantity. When you walk into his shop it is all about the experience. An old school, classic barber type of vibe. Allowing the time to listen to what his clients have to say, they are his sole focus from the time they sit in the chair to the time they walk out the door.

Since starting his journey in barbering, Dustin has more time to do what he wants. He loves the fact that he creates his schedule and can take more time to spend with his son. During school, Dustin missed a lot of baseball games because he worked full time and was in school full time. Now he wouldn’t miss them for anything. He has a flexibility that allows him to live the life he wants.

If Dustin could give any advice, to someone who is thinking about a career in barbering, he would tell them “If you’ve dreamt it, do it. You’ll regret it if you don’t.” It’s never too late to start over and try again.

After speaking with Dustin, everyone could take a page out of his book.

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