RANCE JOHN CUTTIN’ UP
Words by Ashley Kane
Rance John embodies the meaning of dedication and determination.
With everything he’s been through, how can someone continue to renew themselves and be better than they were yesterday. John’s passion and love for his gift has propelled him to accomplish amazing things! Rance John is
a professional groomer, entrepreneur and definitely delivers style #goals. Rance John’s Style & Barbering shop is located on the south side of St. Louis. He’s had many fruitful shops, enjoys teaching and has even developed his own line of razors: John said, “there’s more to the story”.
Rance was born in Chicago and moved to St. Louis, Missouri by the age of 12. John said “I grew up with great values, but seeing my mother struggle made me want to do better”. At the age of 15, he was cutting his own hair; there was instant chemistry. Rance John had wonderful support from many members of his family and friends. Everyone from his sister messing up his hair, and him then deciding to cut his own, to his brother-in-law speaking life into him on the way to school. Rance said “my cousin, the bus driver, she would encourage me to keep going”. When Rance was in high school, he met a man named Lee Moss and was instantly inspired by Moss’s haircuts. One day John was standing with his landlord outside on Cherokee Street. Rance looked up and realized it would be the perfect spot for his style hub, aka barber/salon shop. John said “he took a risk, he gave me a chance”. At the ripe age of twenty-three Rance John had a space, a suite all his own.
Life had come with accomplishments but had also come with heartache. Rance’s mother and brother had both passed. John said “they gave pieces of motivation to me, I could have easily made other decisions”. Focus. When you are faced with temptation, faced with moral indecision, focus is your only option for progression. “It’s easy to get things, harder to keep them” said Rance. He had lost everything, went through a divorce, lost his business and his property. “At that point I knew I had to re-invent myself”, he said.
Luckily Rance had a close friend, Brandon Dixon, who he would brainstorm ideas with. They had come up with an upscale barbering shop with complete services that takes the experience to another level. Rance fell in love
with traditional razor barbering and began to hone his skills. In 2006, he re-opened Rance John’s Style & Barbering. He used social media to grow his following organically. Schools started calling for him for motivational speaking and educational training. One of John’s passions is teaching, so he thrived with clipper cutting classes and even developed the Show Me Barbers Battle. Social media has been a key to Rance’s rewarding career. John started the Rance John Back to School Cuts for Kids foundation to give children a “fresh start and feel good on the first day of school”, he said. It’s an awe-inspiring event with support from Grace Hill who provides screenings and supplies, the St. Louis Public Library who assists families with obtaining library cards, and the St. Louis Fire Department comes out too. Rance John also heads up the Cut Out Homelessness campaign where Rance’s team gives a mini-makeover to someone who’s ready for that next step; someone who is ready to be helped.
Over the years John said “I’ve developed a love and passion for helping people, new challenges”. Rance said “it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s part of progress”. But what motivates him to pick himself up after defeat, to
risk it all on another shop? Rance said, “If I did it once, I can do it again. I have to leave something for my three kids; I learned I had to man up to my misjudgments and learn from them”. Words spoken like a man of his word, a true king in a day when words can be taken for granted. He’s someone who turns his shoulds into musts.
Rance John’s social media presence is quite a treat for the eyes. His Facebook & Instagram is filled with fresh fades, razor cuts, custom designs, clean beards of clients every age and different ethnicities. Rance John is a lover of business, who is hungry to tackle new things and new projects. He aspires to open a school in the near future. He loves to make people look good, loves to train and educate people and is creating his own line of straight razors. You can visit Rance and his team in south St. Louis, you can catch him at rancejohn.com and on Instagram and Facebook @RanceJohn
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