Mark-Jason Solofa is a licensed Barber in the State of California, but his journey through the industry has been anything but typical.
After 17 years of working in the world of banking and insurance, Mark-Jason was on the verge of being laid off from a now defunct mortgage bank in the financial market crash and recession in 2008. As a single Dad wanting to spend more time with his daughter, and as a first generation immigrant looking to experience living the “American Dream”, he made the leap of faith to reinvent himself and used his severance and unemployment benefits to pursue his dream of becoming a Barber. Why a Barber?
“Every time I went to a Barbershop, the Barber’s always looked like they enjoyed what they did!! Fellowship with the customers, music was always playing, lots of laughter and smiles, and the Barber’s were always dressed sharp and looked well groomed. Who wouldn’t want their job?!”
Taking the path least traveled by today’s Barber’s, and with the hopes of being a more diverse Men’s Groomer, he attended Paul Mitchell The School and graduated with Cutting Honors, Color Honors, and was an inaugural member of the school’s “Phase 2” program (an honor’s program for the School’s most outstanding students). As a Future Professional at Paul Mitchell The School, he had the pleasure of assisting some of Paul Mitchell’s top Educators and Platform Artists on stage at the 2009 West Coast Spring Hair Show in San Jose, CA.
Upon graduating from Paul Mitchell The School, and after obtaining his California state Cosmetology license, Mark-Jason enrolled in Hinton Barber College in Vallejo, CA where he completed his Barbering training. It was here that he realized his passion for Education, and so after gaining his California State license as a Barber, he completed additional training to become a Certified Barber Instructor.
Mark-Jason kept up his forward momentum as an Educator for American Crew, a premium men’s grooming product company. As a West Coast Regional Educator/Team Crew Member, Mark-Jason traveled across the West Coast teaching product knowledge and hair cutting classes to Hairstylists and Barbers. The highlight of his tenure with American Crew was working as a Platform Artist at the 2011 West Coast Spring Hair Show in San Jose, CA…the same show he appeared on stage for Paul Mitchell as a student only 2 years prior.
Today, Mark-Jason has created a men’s grooming lifestyle brand that is built on service, community, and preserving the values of Traditional Barbering that is unique not only to the Bay Area, but to the Barbering community as a whole as well.