Simply put, Christian is a service provider. As a barber, her haircuts epitomize precision, creativity, and style, and on any given day she can be found giving between 10-12 of them in her own home, the homes of clients, or community events. But Christian goes beyond that — she serves the same community she’s a part of with intentionality and care. Oakland born-and-bred, queer, Black, masculine-of-center, she understands what it’s like to be relegated to the margins of most spaces she enters. It is because of these experiences that she has made it her central tenant to provide a safe, comfortable, and affirming environment for her clients, many of whom identify as either queer, or QTPOC (queer, trans* people of color).
Christian, who first started cutting her own hair to avoid the negative experiences she faced in barbershops, soon recognized her own experience was one shared by many. It is this shared experience that has made clear to her the need for a collective safe space and service, one that centers and celebrates marginalized identities, and re-imagines what a barbershop experience can feel like as a queer-identified person.
“This isn’t something that’s exclusive,” Christian says, “but it has a very specific purpose, and that purpose is to provide a safe and comfortable space for everyone who walks through the doors.”
And now’s the time, she figures, to centralize her services, to build an accessible, sustainable, and community driven barbershop, where both she and other barbers can do what they do best -- .
The community’s health and vibrancy thrives to the extent in which we directly invest in each other. In a world where resources are not always readily available, our interdependence is our survival. That being so, showing up extra hard for each other, much like Christian does for her community, is how we can ensure our collective prosperity.
Imagine this — Christian Eddings, 34, owner of an Oakland barbershop that is queer/QTPOC-centric, ally-welcoming, classically and charmingly upscale, warm, unpretentious, fresh, exuberant, and necessary.
“I want the shop to be a staple in Oakland,” Christian says, “with good energy and complimentary drinks. I have this idea that if you leave your phone at the door, you get a discount, only because I want people to talk to each other, connect, and build. I’m someone who loves seeing other people happy. As a barber, I’m passionate about making people feel good on the outside, and on the inside, too. My goal is to create a space where I continue to thrive, and where other barbers have a place to grow and learn and serve like-minded people.”
Help realize Christian’s dream, a community dream, by donating or sharing with someone who can, and boosting within your networks. Allies are highly encouraged to participate in the fundraiser.
All funds raised will be dedicated to securing a location, hosting a “soft open” by Summer, 2018, and covering the first 6 months of overhead costs (insurance, taxes, interior-design, build-out).
To schedule an appointment with Christian, visit https://www.styleseat.com/christianeddings
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