Battle Judges

The following brave individuals are taking on the task of judging BarberCraft’s Battle of the Barbers 2018.
Not only are they all experts in their field – our judges all have proven their commitment to developing Barbering as a trade and actively mentor and support up-and-coming barbering talent.
Gina Eparaima

How long have you been in the industry?
I have been involved in the industry for the past 30 years.  In 1987 my journey first started at Christchurch Polytechnic. Since then I have continued to cut hair in New Zealand and Australia.

When did you qualify/how long have you been qualified for?
In 2017 I heard about the QbyE option through HITO.  I needed this to become a barber assessor, so I decided to go for it. I completed and qualified as a barber and an assessor in the same year 2017.  Thanks to HITO for the opportunity.

What made you decide to be a barber?
Cutting hair allowed me to talk and laugh with people. I also really enjoy the aspect of barbering being all clipper and scissor work.

What do you love most about working in the industry?
What I love most about working in this industry is the people. Being a barber to me has always been about customer service and the relationship with the client.

What is your tip for BarberCraft entrants?
My tip for BarberCraft entrants would be to look, listen, and learn as much as you can while you are there. Don’t be shy, talk to other barbers, and ask questions. When you are on stage competing remember to breathe.  We have so many talented barbers right here in Aotearoa! Above all, stay humble and be true to yourself!

Michael Petrie

Cuba / Te Aro / Courtney Barbers, Wellington

How long have you been in the industry?
I have been barbering for 18 years but I have been in the hairdressing industry since 1990s. After finishing school, I wanted to do a trade and wasn’t keen on plumbing.

Why did you decide to get into barbering?
I became a hairdressing apprentice after school and naturally geared towards barbering in 2000.

When did you get qualified?
I have been qualified since 1998 as a hairdresser. In 2016 I got my barbering qualification with HITO through the Qualification by Experience Programme, so I could hire and train apprentices.

What do you love most about the industry?
It’s simple: the people.

What is your tip for BarberCraft entrants?
Bring your personality to the stage!

Jen Lawton

JB6 Barbershop, Palmerston North

How long have you been in the industry for?
I started doing work experience in 2002 at a local hairdressing salon. I then transferred over to barbering in 2007.

What made you decide to become a barber?
I am naturally a hands-on creative person, and I loved the technique and variety that barbering offered. I learned quickly that it was more than just a job.

When did you get qualified?
I got qualified early 2017 through the Qualification by Experience Programme at HITO. I always thought it was just a piece of paper, however, once I graduated I had so many doors open for me.

What do you love most about working in this industry?
I love that our industry is never stagnant. It is always evolving and there is always something new to learn. Barbers are also super supportive of each other which makes it an awesome community to be a part of.

What is your tip for BarberCraft entrants?
Focus on you, your model, and what you are wanting to achieve. Try to not get too caught up in it all, take a deep breath and do what you do every single day. Most importantly, learn from the experience, and be proud of stepping onto New Zealand’s biggest barbering stage.

Peter Wells

Ali Babas – Wanaka

How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the hairdressing/barbering industry for 20 years.

Why did you decide to get into barbering?
I became a barber because my older brother was a hairdresser. I guess I looked up to him and saw hairdressing and barbering as an interesting profession I could do too.

When did you get qualified?
I got qualified as a hairdresser in 2003 and then got qualified as a barber in 2009.

What do you love most about the industry?
The best thing about working in this industry is the people I get to meet and chat with. Whether it be the customers in the chair, other barbers, or professionals within the industry. It is just awesome.

What is your tip for BarberCraft entrants?
My best tip for BarberCraft competitors is to read the brief. If you have any questions make sure to ask so you know what is expected of you.

Warren Theunis

Urban Cuts , Cape Town, South Africa

How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the barbering industry 18 years.

What made you decide to become a barber?
I’ve always been cutting my friends hair, but in 2000 decided to do it full time. In 2006 I started doing it more professionally.

When did you get qualified?
I did my qualification in 2015, and I did my assessor’s qualification in 2016.

What do you love most about working in this industry?
The people whose hair I get to cut. I would like to believe that we have become friends, even family if you will. I get to prepare them for whatever journey they are on. Whether it be work, holiday, a wedding, or for school. I’m a part of all of that.

What is your top tip for BarberCraft entrants?
Familiarise yourself with the rules for each category you are competing in. Practice your competition cut. Model selection is key too. Have fun, as it will settle your nerves and make you do your best.

Dempsey Alipia

Cutting Crew Barbers, Auckland

How long have you been in the barbering / hair industry?
I have been in the barbering industry for 15 years. I am an owner and operator of my own barbershop with 3 x senior barbers and 2 x HITO apprentices.

What made you decide to become a barber?
I wanted to be involved in an industry that helped people to look and feel good.

When did you get qualified / how long have you been qualified for?
I got my full NZQA qualification through the HITO QbyE process in 2016.

What do you love most about working in this industry?
I love meeting different people and seeing the result of a cut or shave. I also like the fact that this is a trade is something that you can do inside, weather doesn’t affect it, not too many trades like that.

What is your top tip for BarberCraft battle entrants?
Prepare. Read the brief and take note of what you are being marked on. Understanding what the judges are looking for will make all the difference.

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