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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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An act of shear greatness

Pat Leininger ‘19 in an appointment with a client (Photo by Paige Santiago ‘19).

St. Joe’s student runs a barbershop of his own

Equipped with ambition and a useful skill, one St. Joe’s student is turning his passion into dollars.

In his free time, Pat Leininger 19 gives haircuts to his friends and peers. Leininger began to master haircutting in middle school after he began cutting his own hair.

“I used to cut my own hair very short all the way around and it was very easy,” said Leininger. “I started doing that to my friends who wanted either something similar or mohawks, all easy things.”

Leininger’s business took off during his freshman year in which he estimated having cut around 50 different people’s hair. Though it was a busy time in his life, Leininger enjoyed the experience and it  fueled him to continue cutting hair through this day.

Money, it seems, is of utmost importance to college students everywhere. Between tuition, books, food and fun, it can feel as if nothing comes cheap. It’s a key cause of stress for many students who are constantly feeling the pressures of financial responsibility.

Rachel Tomaso ’20 was surprised to discover how much her perspective on money would change in college.

“I never knew how much I would have to budget until I came here,” said Tomaso. “Now I definitely realize how fast money comes and goes.”

Still, Leininger prefers to let his work do the talking. He does not demand any specific price for his haircuts, opting instead for his clients give him however much they see fit.

“I actually don’t charge any money,” Leininger said. “I tell people it’s a voluntary donation, however most people pay around $10.”

Leininger’s peers are appreciative of this policy since it takes their own financial situations into consideration. However due to his exceptional work, Leininger is not likely to find anyone that will give him nothing.

“I respect the voluntary donation policy because it is a flexible way to get a fairly priced, affordable, and quality haircut while letting Pat make some money as well,” said Paul Goertel ’20, a frequent client of Leininger’s.

Although Leininger is now recognized as a respected barber, it doesn’t mean  his peers were always confident in his skills.

“I first learned Pat knew how to cut hair freshman year when he told our floor,” said Max Steck 19. “He showed us pictures of his friend’s hair that he had cut and it looked good, but I was skeptical.”

When they saw Leininger’s work in person, they understood he was the real deal.

“It wasn’t until I saw him cut one of my friend’s hair that I knew he would do a good job,” Steck said.

Leininger’s calling card is dedication. He cares about the quality of his work and has an appreciation for the art of cutting hair. It’s why those around him feel as though he could wind up pursuing this as a legitimate career in the future, even though his current goal is to become a successful actuary.

“I know Pat is passionate about cutting hair because he’s told me that if the whole actuarial science thing doesn’t work out, he can be a barber,” said Steck.

Although he has different career goals, Leininger can’t see himself giving up cutting hair for good.

“Maybe after I retire or become tired of the professional world I’ll become a barber,” Leininger said.

For now, Leininger is focused on fulfilling his actuarial science requirements and cutting hair on a relaxed level.

“I’ve developed my skills just by trying new things on people,” Leininger said. “I wasn’t very good at first at everything but it would only take maybe two or three haircuts of a certain style to really understand what I was doing.”

Leininger’s peers certainly seem to be grateful for his talent.

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