To be competitive in modern bricks & mortar world it pays to make your shop remarkable. One way to do that is to mess with the conventional thinking that barbers should work out of buildings. Take Michael for instance. He has been running his barber business out of a shipping container for about a year now. Not something you see every day! Ben conducted a little Q&A, find more about this up & coming shop.
Ben: What got you started in Barber Shops?
Michael: I came out of trade school and was a Barber in a hairdresser. I found it problematic that grown men were waiting along behind ten or so children to get their hair cut. I also found that the hours of most barber shops did not suit the working man (closing at 5:30 pm), there is a niche in the market, after hours barber shops! I just had the idea and was allowed to begin work in a shipping container, a chair and four lamps and business begun. We have grown from 5 people a week to over 50 people a month.
Ben: How are people finding out about you?
Some of Michael's handy work
Michael: I’m not going to lie, I’m quite bad at marketing, but word of mouth is quite a powerful tool. We use the socials a little bit but word of mouth, recommendation and even driving past and seeing the sign for the shop attracts people. It is quite difficult for a new guy in the league to be on social media and compete with everyone.
Ben: How did you work on the renovations of the shipping container? (Ben noticed the railway sleepers within the container and the comfort of the atmosphere generally)
Michael: A guy already established within the shipping yard from Sydney actually had the railway sleepers and we just asked if we could do a deal and get them from him. He was super enthusiastic and actually ended up giving them to us free of charge. We don’t have everything as of yet but the guys love it and think it is really unique.
The Escobarber Container Barber HQ
Ben: What is the origin of the name Escobarber?
Michael: We incorporated ideas from a television show on Railway Tunnels and having a few drinks with friends we established this name and just ran with it,
Ben: What are the plans for the future?
Michael: We are going to move from one to two twenty-foot containers, adding another chair to the shop (we only have one at the moment). Guys can come along to guy nights and connect to other possibly ‘random’ individuals who they may have nothing in common with but they feel comfortable and enjoy themselves quite a bit. Barber shops facilitate connections between individuals, possibly lonely men can come and have a chat with other men.
Ben: Who will you choose to run the other chair?
Michael: I don’t have anybody in mind at the moment, because we’re in an area where we don’t necessarily get many walk-ins. I need somebody who will do good hard work, who I can teach (even though I am still learning every day), a guy who is confident and wants to earn a little bit of money while also having fun.
Ben: Who are your main customers here?
Michael: Guys from the local area are common and then their mates come as a result of word of mouth. Guys just enjoy coming down and having a bit of guy time!
Ben: Are you still seeing beards coming in? Are they still popular?
Micheal: Of course, I love the beards, I am a beard man myself. Miners try to grow their best beards and just generally they are quite popular.
Ben: Are you noticing any particular style with beards?
Michael: Yes, guys are really quite liking the full beard with a fade in, keeping the middle part longer!
Milkman Beard & Shave Gear At the Container Barber
Ben: Do you have any advice for guys with thinner beards?
Michael: A friend of mine approached me commenting that he had quite a thin and patchy beard, he was wondering how he could grow it, and I honestly answered with I have no idea! We tried an experiment, shampooing the beard every day of the week and conditioning it at least three times a week. I heard back from him about three weeks later and he said that he had seen signs immediately. I have tested this theory with other clients and most (not all) see pretty good, quick results. Keeping your beard clean is a really important part of a mans grooming routine.
Ben: Any further advice for guys if shampooing doesn’t work on them?
Michael: The old rule of ‘you shave and it grows back’, I don’t really know, I guess every guy is different. Going clean may be the best option for some guys or even maybe just a little bit of stubble. Also, getting a good line on the beard can draw attention away from the patchiness.
If you want to visit Escobarber, you can find his details here:
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