Tucked away in the suburbs of Metro Cebu, amidst the hustle and bustle, is a barber shop—but not just any barber shop as clients who walk through its doors aren’t just there for a service, but a craft that many overlook.

WWorkshop Studio, a new independent barber-owned and barber-run shop that offers more than what your typical barber shop offers.

WWorkshop Studios’ early beginnings could be traced back to its owner, Willow Hoods, and his interest in the craft. Willow once had a day job prior to venturing into the barber business. He got his start cutting hair on the side of streets with a stool for his clients.

He was eventually able to quit his day job and pursue his passion for barbering full time. “No matter how difficult, if it’s your passion, you would never be tired of pursuing it,” he said.

WWorkshop Studio was established in 2021 with the goal of being different from the existing barber chains arounds though it offers traditional barber services.

Willow set out with the goal of changing the way people view barbers, and that people who pursue this path didn’t just fall into it. “When I got into the industry, that’s when I saw how they were underpaid, underappreciated, and how they were exploited.”

Today, Willow run his own shop together with his five employees who are all trained in the craft.

“There are a lot of talented barbers and for me, the saddest thing in the world are wasted dreams, wasted talent,” he said when talking about the inequality barbers face within the industry. And this is what sets WWorkshop Studio apart from most barber shops, they not only cut hair but also train aspiring barbers and offer consultancy services.

You could be a barber if you have the drive and determination to be one, and Willow has made it his mission to share his knowledge from his experience as a self-taught barber through his barber school.

And once you’ve mastered the trade and are interested in monetizing your newfound skill, Willow offers consultations for those who are interested in opening their own barber shop. It’s royalty free and he helps with making logos, assists with the branding, and even provides contacts.

The studio is set amidst a road that’s not too busy and once you step inside, you are met with a display cabinet featuring works from local artists. “What I’m doing is being acknowledged by the art scene,” he said. The walls are plastered with tattoo flashes as Willow is a fan of traditional American tattoos, a style known for its vivid colors.

Patrons could also opt to get a treatment to energize or purify their scalp. But best of all, patrons can eat after being serviced from Thursdays to Sundays as Willow helped found the Molave Community Marketplace where independent brands set up pop-up booths just outside the studio. This initiative was materialized after a couple inquiries from friends with small businesses.

From a stool on the side of the road to establishing a barber shop, this is only the beginning for WWorkshop Studio.

With determination and perseverance, one is sure to achieve one’s dreams and aspirations.

WWorkshop Studio is located at #3 Molave Street, Kamputhaw, Cebu City and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.