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WorkinCT: From refugee to world champion barber

WETHERSFIELD  --  He goes by MC Barber.

His chair at his Wethersfield barber shop filled with client after client with requests for MC to get out his razor and scissors and create masterpiece.

“We have clients that come every week, every two weeks, it’s really a good industry to be in right now,” said Merhan Cecunjanin or MC Barber.

MC opened his first barber shop in Hartford in 2003, ten years after he came to Connecticut as a refugee.

“I’m originally from Montenegro, former Yugoslavia, and I moved to the United States right when the war started in the former Yugoslavia, so I was one of the refugees that went to Sweden, basically ran out of the country,” said Cecunjanin.

He says when he first got to Connecticut he was a waiter, but he hated it. So he leaned on his barber skills to find work.

“When I was a kid I used to cut my friends’ hair, my cousins. We couldn’t afford the haircuts so we would take care of each other, so I was the one in the village who would cut everyone’s hair,” said Cecunjanin.

Now he takes care of men in the greater Hartford area.

“I’ve probably been coming to MC for five years, maybe, six years, something like that. He’s a good barber. Every time he wins a competition though, his prices go up a little bit,” said Mike Karpman from New Britain.

MC has been doing those competitions since 2012.

Last year, he placed second in the OMC Hairworld World Cup. This year, he is on the American team that will compete again in the world championship in Paris in September.

“It was something to keep me going, because if you do the same thing every day and you don’t get involved with people and learning new things, it kind of gets old and boring, so I decided to compete,” said Cecunjanin.

In addition to training for the world championship, MC is also looking to expand his business. He is working on opening up the MC Barber Academy and a spa for men.

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