There’s more to the barbering industry than just cutting hair. One of the many master craftsman who earns a living off the trade is Australian sign maker TJ Guzzardi. We caught up with the ultra-talented Aussie back in BNV10 to learn more about his incredible career.

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Uppercut Deluxe cemented their position not only in the hands of barbers and on the heads of their customers, but also in all of their hearts by keeping keenly involved in the interests that helped forge the company. A group of talented individuals that embody these skills and passions help spread the word of Uppercut Deluxe throughout Australia and beyond. TJ Guzzardi is one of them.

A master craftsman, TJ is responsible for stunningly beautiful hand-painted Uppercut Deluxe signage you can see adorning barbershops, his artwork perfectly complementing the classic style of the brand.

His vocation is a specialised one, forged from days spent at his dad’s Hot Rod shop in West Melbourne where he taught himself how to pinstripe cars.

“I think it was a natural progression as an artist to try new things and I have always been inspired by original hand-painted signwriting,” TJ explains to us.

TJ didn’t just require talent to make a career out of signwriting, having to take a leap of faith and leave his day job which supported his young family to try and make a living out of his passion full-time. It paid off and he’s since built a lasting relationship with Uppercut Deluxe that led to him being appointed as a Lifestyle Ambassador.

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He tells us: “I’d been working with the guys at Uppercut Deluxe for years before becoming an official lifestyle Ambassador, doing a few signs here and there for them. In 2016 they launched the Mini Tin Styling Collection and the campaign they created featured four different videos, each revolving around old world trades. One of which featured me signwriting.

“I guess that kind of highlighted how complimentary the brand and my artwork were, and showcased our mutual appreciation for timeless style which paved the way for a more official working relationship.

“Last year they approached me to be an ambassador and since then they’ve kept me busy painting bespoke point of sale items for select stores and their barber ambassadors. I’ve also worked on campaign videos and hung out at social functions, all fun stuff!”

Having a client like Uppercut Deluxe is certainly an asset for TJ but part of the fun of working for yourself is “the freedom to be creative and do what I love. I get to spend lots of time with my family.” For client briefs, TJ says that “90% of the time I can do exactly what I want, the other 10% is a client that comes to me with a design ready to go.”

TJ is living the dream, cruising around Melbourne in his 1956 Chevy wagon which complements both his personal and professional style perfectly, spending time with his family, and spreading the word of Uppercut Deluxe. Can we expect to see more collaborations in the future?

“Nothing that’s been officially locked in at the moment, but, like me, the crew at Uppercut Deluxe are always keeping busy and we spitball ideas at one another all the time, so stay tuned.”