I had the pleasure of visiting this very cool barber shop in the heart of the Sydney CBD and speaking to Tay and Jimmy about their business.
With a new edge look to their shop and a service offering to appeal to that inner city clientele, 5000BC is another example of pushing the boundaries of traditional barber shops to meet their target market. – Paul Valentine.
What motivated you to open your shop?
It’s always been a pipe dream of ours to create our own space. Hairdressing is where we both started our careers, so we created something Sydney was missing. Melding the two worlds of hairdressing and barbering together. We saw a real gap in the market and wanted to create a space where clients would receive a classic barbering experience but in a modern, luxurious and refined setting. We’ve always known we could elevate the industry and bring something totally new and unique to the hair scene.
How long have you been in the industry and what did you do prior?
Jimmy unofficially started cutting hair from a very young age and later started his hairdressing apprenticeship at 16. During his mid twenties he decided to leave colouring, hair extensions, cutting and styling female hair behind to pursue a new challenge within the hair industry.
Tay started his apprenticeship straight after finishing his HSC in late 2006 after many years of cutting friends and family’s hair in his parents garage. After completing his apprenticeship at a unisex salon he ventured into the world of barbering and hasn’t looked back.
What was your biggest challenge in opening ?
COVID 2021 was a nightmare, trying to liaise and project manage a shop fit out during a statewide lock down wasn’t a walk in the park. With uncertainty around when restrictions would be lifted and our business could finally open its doors. Upon opening, the majority of people were still working from home and the CBD was a ghost town. We’re very grateful for our loyal clients that have supported us through it all.
How do you continue to keep things “fresh and relevant” for your customers?
At 5000 BC we are all very passionate about keeping up with all the latest trends and fashion allowing us to incorporate this into our style and focusing on making all our clients look their personal best.
We are constantly adding to our highly curated list of Australian and New Zealand owned and made products. Making sure that our clients always have a choice of products that are at the forefront of the haircare industry in Australia. Every time they enter our doors they will see something new and exciting.
What is the vision for your business?
We aim to become not only a household name when it comes to hair and self care, but also Australia’s leading bespoke and progressive barber shop, blending the two worlds of modern hairdressing and one of the oldest trades, barbering.
We are also creating a community based around our brand. With the addition of our apparel line, we aspire to make our customers feel like they are part of something bigger than just a financial transaction at another barbershop.
What inspired the shop design and feel?
We wanted to create a unique space that’s modern yet comfortable. Adding elements of our own personal touches, giving 5000 BC a real unique feel. The minimal aesthetic adds to the spacious, relaxing vibe in the shop where people can escape the city hustle whilst indulging in one of our world class services.
What services do you offer and what area do you see the biggest growth in?
We offer all your expected grooming services such as haircuts, beard stubble and beard sculpting services.
Our more luxury option would have to be our rapid and luxury hot towel shave services which you don’t see on a lot of menus these days.
A more recent addition to our menu is our RECONSTRUCT service. Entailing a more in depth consultation and extra long service time to make sure our team can provide you with a bespoke style suited for your face shape. Intended for someone looking for a complete restyle or a longer length hair service requiring more attention.
This is where we have seen the most growth, with some clients just wanting that extra little bit of care and attention. Feedback we have received is that people feel rushed and unheard when being consulted and this is what we aim to change.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Professionally, without a doubt the day we opened our doors. As a barber/ stylist, your ambition is to always be your own boss, to create something you can call your own and express yourself everyday.
Opening post lockdown, in a very tough financial climate the majority of people thought we were crazy but we have just gone from strength to strength.
What is one of your favourite product brands, and why?
At 5000 BC we are big on layering the hair with multiple products to achieve optimum results. I would have to say at the minute we are loving SCULPTR & MOTION. SCULPTR is so versatile bringing a refined range of unisex products suitable for all hair types. MOTION is a Melbourne based brand who has exploded onto the hair scene earlier this year.
SCULPTR STYLING CREAM is best used as a pre-styler to blow-dry into the hair to achieve maximum volume and shape. Our favourite finishing product is MOTION MSF1 : CLOUD, used as a finishing product to add weightless texture and hold.
What are three items you’d take with you to a deserted island?
- Endless supply of drinking water
- Fishing rod
- Book of “Poisonous Fish”
Share with us an interesting story from your youth?
I once turned down a job at Woolworths around the age of 15/16. After completing the induction training day, Management politely asked me to tone down my David Beckham-esque mohawk. To which I of course refused. It was at this stage I realised how much I cared about my hair and my personal style. I felt as though my hair defined my persona and they were trying to make me conform to the norm. I wasn’t having it at all, sticking it to the man from a very young age haha.
How do you keep your team inspired, motivated and engaged in your business?
We don’t treat our team as employees and we hate the term BOSS. We simply treat them as equals and we encourage them to have just as much say in the brand as we do. We also encourage creative flair and reward high motivation.
For example JB is not just one of our awesome barbers but is super creative and talented with all things design, videography and photography. He takes care of all our socials and how we appear on all outlets. Giving our team responsibilities outside of day to day cutting hair keeps them invested and accountable within the business.
What hair trends do you see currently and how do you adjust to it?
Longer hair is definitely becoming more popular. I think this is where we strive, having our background in hairdressing really helps with this aspect.
A trend we are also seeing currently is people with curly hair wanting to no longer smooth out or straighten their hair but instead embrace their natural curl. Education around using certain curl enhancing and maintaining products and the use of a diffuser has really changed people’s mentalities around living in their curls.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?
Jimmy loves a morning crossfit session if he’s not in too much pain from the session the day before. Also spending time with his 3 french bulldogs and taking them to the park.
If you know Tay, you will know he is a proud family man. Spending his weekends down at the park kicking round the soccer ball or at the skate park with his two kids. His other love is keeping up with all things NBA and NRL (especially his beloved Rabbitohs.)
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
When you have a dream, you have to grab it by the kahunas and never let go!
“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.”–
What do you think are the biggest challenges to the industry at the moment and how are you working to overcome them?
Our biggest challenge has always been educating people on how their experience should be when it comes to receiving a haircut. Breaking that stigma that haircuts are worth $30 and you just sit down and wait your turn.
The hair industry has evolved and progressed so far that the cost of your service now reflects the end product. Classic case of “you get what you pay for.” Everyone is short on time and that’s why our online booking platform is the most crucial and essential tool to growing our business.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Come and experience the new era of modern barbering through a bespoke personal service.
Get in touch
5000BC – Jimmy & Tay
PHONE: 0490 940 118