What motivated you to open your own business?
Seeing a gap in the market to create something new for the community. Not having found a barbershop I really clicked with & fortunate enough to have stumbled across the perfect space at the time I did. I’ve never liked the idea of a walk-in barbershop due to the fast pace & stress of a line so to be able to create a space where we can run off appointments to deliver a high standard of work was a no brainer.
How long have you been in the industry and what did you do prior?
4.5 years in the industry, prior to this I coached soccer in USA for a couple of years & prior to that, I worked here in Aus coaching soccer whilst juggling a job at Bunnings Warehouse throughout school.
What is/was our biggest challenge in opening your shop?
Being the first in our area to run a shop off appointments, originally I was faced with the problem of teaching people how to book in & the constant turning clients away as we could not fit them in. Continually challenged by the forever changing hairstyles that people are asking for and working with them to ensure it’s a haircut that best suits them & their head shape.
What is your vision for your business?
To keep growing with Nash & Kai, upskilling all of us where possible & exploring more avenues of barbering. To really become more of a family/community with our clients & continue to provide a place our clients are comfortable and always feel welcome. I would love the opportunity to connect with more barbers around Aus & the globe.
What inspired the shop design and feel?
A lot of inspiration came from other barbershops with a twist to make it our own. Naming the shop after my late Grandfather and dedicating the journey to him has made it feel much more homely and definitely gives the shop a deeper meaning a lot of people can relate too &/or understand. We have designed the shop to compliment our clientele, still drawing inspiration from what we see & where we go and are forever tweaking the design/ layout. I’d like to think of the space as homely, welcoming, youthful with a bit of a gangsta/ street feel.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I believe that sometimes it’s so hard to look at what you’ve done and to be proud of it as you are always looking forward to what more you can do. In saying that I am super proud of how far the business has come in 2.5 years, watching both Nash and Kai grow alongside me and our community has been amazing. Being booked out 2-3 weeks ahead at times is something that I can say I’m personally proud of.
What is one of your favourite brands, and why?
Kingbrown, the relationship with Daen has been unreal from the start, continuous support from them & check ins since opening has made us feel a part of their family. Along with providing all round great products at an affordable price for our clientele and us barbers.
What hair trends do you see currently and how do you adjust to it?
At the moment we get a lot of requests for more of a conservative/modern mohawk or mullet. For those who work professional jobs yet want a little bit of flare! We adjust by ensuring the finishes are softer, less noticeable and all blended together neatly. In some cases even tapering the bottom of these haircuts at the back along with the sides.
How do you recruit, retain and motivate your team?
Fortunately I have been blessed with Nash, whom I met on my last day of tafe & then met again after opening the business. He was keen to jump on board and the timing worked well for us both. Our apprentice Kai was a loyal customer whilst going through highschool (our first two years of business), we were lucky enough to be growing at the rate we were so that we could give him a chance with us once he left school. I try my best to look after the boys, with occasional lunches, coffees, merch & gifts.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?
Surfing, drinking coffee, reading and checking out the occasional bar or live gig.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Be proud of what you do and stick by the price you set for your service, take your time choosing staff and look after those closest to you.