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Donald "Donny" Smith II
Hattori Hanzo Shears

Hattori Hanzo Shears Stylist Spotlight: Donald “Donny” Smith II

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 Name: Donald “Donny” Smith II City: Kittery, ME Barbershop: Classic Barber Studios  8 Dexter Lane Kittery, ME

THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE DONNY: Passion, Perseverance, Style

Donny has been barbering for five years now. His journey started as a child. He grew up with a learning disorder and mental health issues – and due to his mother’s diligence and care, Donny was able to get the right treatment.  However, he never escaped his fears of being a failure.  In addition to a terrible skiing accident, the personal struggles led him down the path of using drugs to help him run from his fear and pain. Unfortunately, like most drug addicts, this caused more significant pain to Donny and his family.  Due to his family’s unconditional love and his passion for making something positive of himself, He decided to put all of his energy into recovery. It was then that Donny met his wife, who helped him realize his potential.  Donny always loved hairstyling and found his true calling when he was able to enroll in NESOB.  Donny found that barbering filled every crack and crevice that was missing in his life.  Donny has been sober ever since! After school, he apprenticed at the New England School of Barbering (NESOB) in Concord, NH.  He got to work with two of the best instructors around, Mr. and Mrs. Carron.

Donny worked at a few different barbershops, trying to make a niche for himself in New Hampshire/Southern Maine’s seacoast area.  In November of 2019, Donny was finally able to open his own business in Kittery ME outlets.  Donny was able to keep most of his loyal clientele, who were happy to see him on his own.  He was three months into his new business when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. His shop, like many other small businesses across the nation, had to close for months.  As a new business, this hurt Donny; but he could pay all of his bills, even with the doors closed, and focused learning through virtual barber training.  When  Donny was able to re-open his business per new state guidelines, his clients were ecstatic, and Donny was eager to get back to work.  Now, Donny has a stable company and a new barber working with him with the hope to grow more once the pandemic ends.

Favorite Hanzo Shear: HH1 & HHV

I love the Mamba for the precision and the handle is like a swivel shear so it allows great range of movement in my wrist and allows me to get good angles in my cuts.

The Kamikazi definitely lives up to its name – “the Paint Brush”.  This shear does it all! It does slide cutting, scoop cutting and wide range of different texture techniques. It is amazing in helping me get inside someone’s hair to get that full textured look. It makes haircuts really come alive!

INSTAGRAM: @ClassicBarber224

Q & A With Donny

Who inspires you?

My wife.  I know some guys like to talk about the old “ball and chain” but my wife is truly my best friend.  She is my partner in life and is constantly working on bettering herself and makes me want to continue working on being a better man, husband, and barber.  She understands me and accepts me for who I am, even though I sometimes question why she does that!

Who is your favorite platform artist?

o   Collin Anthony

o   The Bloody Butcher from Reuzel/Schorem,

o   Roy Jay White, The Hillbilly Barber

Favorite Ice cream flavor?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

The most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

My second career behind skiing, was DJing and in my 20s, I DJd at Camp Disco.  It was crazy!! But it’s a tough industry and didn’t last.

Favorite vacation?

t’s actually a toss-up between snowmobiling in the mountains of Wyoming or spending a nice summer vacation in Jamaica.  The nice thing is I can do both in one year!

If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?

My wife, my iphone with downloaded movies, and my dog.  (My wife would bring the charger and food for my dog!)

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I want to fly and have super-haircutting skills so I can revolutionize the industry.  Anyone at any location can get an amazing haircut because I can fly to them!

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

“Against the Odds”

Who would you most like to share a cup of coffee or tea with?

Elvis – the king of pompadours!

One thing people wouldn’t guess about you?

I skied USSA, semi-pro skiing, free-style, and ranked 16thin the nation at age 17.  Unfortunately, it was during a competition where I had a horrendous fall that left me unconscious and ended my free-style career.  I don’t ski anymore because it’s no fun unless you can go upside down – so I spend my free-time snowmobiling in the winter!

Written By: Catie Delahanty

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