Marble Falls High School sophomore Seth Parker (right) cuts classmate Gannon Curran’s hair. Parker has been pursuing barbering as a hobby due in part to the entrepreneurship electives course he’s taking in school. Staff photo by Brigid Cooley
Seth Parker, 16, became interested in barbering while doing an eighth-grade assignment for his professional communication class. He had to write step-by-step instructions for completing a task and chose giving a haircut.
Now a sophomore at Marble Falls High School, Parker is expanding upon his interest in one of his elective courses.
“I honestly just do it because it’s fun,” Parker said about barbering. “It’s fun because you get to hear different perspectives (while you cut hair) and to build trust with people.”
Parker is enrolled in an entrepreneurship course taught by Tucker Edwards, a business and entrepreneurship teacher at the high school. Edwards teaches three of these elective classes, during which teams of students create a business and marketing plan for their own operation. Once the plans are complete, teams give presentations to their classmates in the style of “Shark Tank,” and votes are cast for the favorite concept. The class then works collaboratively with the winning team to flesh out the project.
“They always have really great ideas,” Edwards said. “One group is working on a plan for a party boat that would operate on Lake Marble Falls. There’s always something creative coming out of these classes.”
For his project, Parker teamed up with classmate and cousin Diego Mata to create a concept for their own barbershop called SD Cuts. With the help of instructional YouTube videos and advice from a neighbor who is a professional barber, Parker has been learning and honing his barbering skills.
He even gives friends and family haircuts inside his garage in his free time. “Customers” include classmate Gannon Curran, who has gotten multiple trims.
“He cut my hair a few weeks ago,” Curran nodded. “It looks good. It’s cool.”
Although Parker dreams of becoming a commercial architect after graduating from high school, he believes he’ll remain interested in barbering for a long time.
“I might take some cosmetology classes in college,” he said. “I could see this as a side hustle, for sure.”
Edwards hopes projects like these help to expand business and entrepreneurship programs in the school, all of which teach students marketable skills and customer service techniques.
“These students may become entrepreneurs or business owners, sure, but they are going to be humans forever. So teaching them good communication and to be respectful? Those skills will last forever.”