WORKAHOLIC // MASTER BARBERS OF IMPERIAL BARBER PRODUCTS

With a combined 30 years in the Los Angeles, London and New York City barber culture, Master Barbers, Scott Serrata and Pedro Zermeno have worked tirelessly to perfect the craft of classic American men‘s styling. Inspiration came from years behind the chair grooming their clients and never finding the one perfect product that met their standards. Pomades, gels and waxes were too weak, too greasy and waxy, or too fragrant, while shaving products often fell victim to an onslaught of hype. After a couple of years of testing products at their barbershop, Razorbacks, their formula was perfected. Their mission is simple. Create superior men’s grooming products that are made by barbers and made to work and made in the great city of Los Angeles. We caught up with the founders at their offices and product warehouse to learn more about their passion and what makes them Workaholics.

Who are you?

We are Scott Serrata and Pedro Zermeno. Master barbers, purveyors of fine mens grooming products, and owners of Imperial Barber Products.

Where is your work space?

Pedro Zermeno: For me, our work space consists of three places. First, Imperial Industries, Inc., which is our manufacturing and distribution business catering toward fine men’s grooming products. Second, our  barbershop, Razorbacks, located in Long Beach, Ca. Third is the working space within my mind, in which a constant flow of ideas and concepts are a work in motion.

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How did you get to where you are now?

Scott Serrata: Years of hard work and determination.

PZ: Focus, determination and passion. Something known as “sweat equity.”

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Was this always your dream job?

PZ: Actually, I’ve always liked the men’s fashion industry and I find that men’s barbering is close to my passion, so yes I guess you can say this is my dream job.

SS:  It wasn’t really a dream. It was the natural progression born out of out of frustration for not being able to find a product that would hold my thick coarse hair, and my clients’ hair, the way I wanted it to, so I figured since I can’t find what I need, I’ll make it myself.

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How much of the week is work and how much is play?

PZ: I find that I’m always working, my mind is constantly evaluating new trends in men’s grooming and fashion even when I have downtime.

SS: It’s all pretty much work. Everyday brings new challenges. Working in a barbershop is more physically draining from being on your feet all day standing behind a barber chair and being in an office is completely opposite being more mentally draining. Somedays I leave the office feeling like I just got beat up.

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How do you find your inspiration?

PZ: You know, I’m totally into the detail of everything. I notice styles in haircuts in particular and changes that people make to their appearances. Each detail provides a sense of inspiration to create new looks or new product ideas.

SS: I look for inspiration anywhere I can get it I like to keep an open mind.

How important is your work, and do you feel it defines you?

PZ: As a Master Barber I taught numerous students on how to perfect not only their craft, but also how to operate a successful business as a barber or a shop owner. Now, as the CEO/Co-founder of a Global product brand, Imperial Barber Products it’s important for me to lead my employees to achieve not only growth for the company but as individuals. So, what defines me? My ability to lead by example and help my team succeed.

SS: Work is very important. I feel a person’s work ethic reflects the type of person they are, as well as their shoes.

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What has been the most exciting thing you have done with your work, and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?

PZ: Well, we continue to manufacture the best quality barber products on the market, bar-none! We make sure that we’re using top performing ingredients in each product which is tailored toward function and performance. We I kicked around the idea of creating the first water-based black pomade which enhances ones darkness and covers up to 60% gray hair. We nailed it with our Blacktop Pomade which continues to be one of our top sellers. My dream situation is to be the world leader of men’s grooming products.

SS: Learning new things is exciting for me. Especially with the business and keeping up with trends around the world but made the Imperial. My dream is to eventually be as big a P&G.

How do you define your personal style, work and clothing?

PZ: Classic, preppy, and original.

SS: T-shirt and jeans or cut off dickies. I have a huge collection of Pendletons that I’ve been collecting for years now. I’m also a huge fan of Allen Edmonds dress shoes.

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Do you listen to music during the workday?

PZ: There’s always music playing at our barbershop and at our corporate office, mostly classic rock and heavy metal.

SS: I love music. Some of my favorites are Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Nick13, I could go on and on.

 

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What’s something someone may not know about you?

PZ: I live, eat and breathe for my dog, Apollo.  He’s a full-grown Dobbie that is truly a man’s best friend. This might sound strange, but I feel that Apollo and I have a telepathic connection…really, we can read each others thoughts and communicate. Sounds strange, huh?

SS: I have OCD like crazy, my car is always clean inside and out, I clean my shoes every morning with simple green and a tooth brush.

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Learn more about Imperial Barber Products and shop products HERE.

Photos used courtesy of Joe Tornatzky and Darren Ankenman.

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