Found in Mackay, North Queensland is Amy from Moldielox Barber Shop.  Epitomising the definition of a general vibe of ‘cool’, and creating a customer experience – with offerings from whiskey to a pool table – resulting in a clientele who returns time and time again, is this barber shop haven that deserves to be respected. 

I asked Amy some questions about her journey and what led her to where she is today.

What motivated you to open your own business?

I have always had a dream of owning my own shop but lacked the confidence to take the dive. After COVID dissolved my position from where I was working in 2020 I decided to take control of my dreams and make them a reality.

How long have you been in the industry and what did you do prior?

I have been in the hair and beauty industry, on and off, for 14 years, with some random stops along the way in electronics, telecommunications and mumming. 

What was your biggest challenge in opening your own business?

Opening a shop in the midst of a worldwide pandemic was a massive challenge, both professionally and personally. There were many days where I would see only a few customers, leaving me to my own thoughts and fears with no distractions. The internal battles I had to work through were my biggest obstacle.

How do you continue to keep things “fresh and relevant” for your customers?

We like to utilise a lot of tools like shop decor, social media and communication between our team and customers, which allows for constant feedback on what they would like to see our industry offer and to make a comfortable and modern environment for them and our team. 

What is the vision for your business?

I have always wanted to create a safe and open place for clients and team members alike. My only vision is continuing this goal and hopefully expand the shop and offer the space to more people.

What inspired the shop design and feel?

I love the industrial workers pub aesthetic, like the Garrison in Peaky Blinders. I love the feeling of being comfortable in your ‘local’, where you meet friends and new people, that the main purpose of being there is to make connections, or to have a ‘deep and meaningful’ over a beer haha. I’m also a fan of the tattoo, skate and punk/metal scenes, which I’ve sprinkled throughout the shop and with the music we play.

What services do you offer and what area do you see the biggest growth in?

We offer everything from old school to new school, but our service that has seen the biggest growth is our private bookings for weddings and special occasions, which tend to bring the spotlight back to the age-old favourite of hot towel shaves.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

The shop and my team.  No matter where Moldielox ends up, they are a dream I’ve always aimed for.

What is one of your favourite product brands, and why?

Jericho has become a fast favourite in our shop, between the amazing scents and the versatility of the range – we are sold.

What are three items you’d take with you to a deserted island?

Music, good company and pina coladas!

Share with us an interesting story from your youth?

When I was a teenager I had a community radio show that I created and hosted with my friend. It was called “Something from Nothing with Bek and Amy” and we used to interview local punk and metal bands and showcase our music taste.

How do you keep your team inspired, motivated and engaged in your business?

I am working on myself continuously, to make sure I can be the best team leader I can be, and in turn help my team with their own personal and professional growth. We subscribe to online education as we live in a rural town and it can be hard to get face to face training. We use The Network by Area Academy and are really looking forward to attending the Barber Expo so we can see what’s on offer there as well.

What hair trends do you see currently and how do you adjust to it?

Mullets! These bad boys are a huge favourite for our team. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing a moldy mullet in the wild, especially as my team likes to bring our own flare to each one.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?

My favourite things to do on my time off is to be with my family and friends, listen to music and play video games.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I have ever received is to “be you, stay true to yourself and the rest will come”. I think it’s easy to be swayed by social media and the empty, inauthentic portrait it can paint of people and brands alike, so staying true to yourself and being as authentic as you can is a hard task but gives you drive and contentment.

What do you think are the biggest challenges to the industry at the moment and how are you working to overcome them?

Lack of easily accessible face to face education for areas outside of major cities, and the competitive nature of people in our industry. I feel like we should be coming together to help each other out and create a healthy industry for the next generation of barbers and hairstylists. Dissolving the ego is a huge task and it will take all of us to accomplish it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We would like to thank The Cutthroat Journal for shining a spotlight on small shops in rural areas. We appreciate all the support!