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It is a remarkable milestone when a business celebrates its 20th year anniversary in business. Paul’s Hair Port, located in Brunswick, celebrated the 20th-anniversary last month.
I met with the owner, over a nice glass of red wine, and discussed the journey, obstacles, success, and business lessons.
When did you start, and how did you get in the industry of hair styling & beauty?
I started working as a barber at eighteen years old in Baghdad. At the time I also took on threading eyebrows and facial hair. I liked the idea of styling and dressing hair so people feel neat, ‘with-the-times’, and presentable. I didn’t like seeing rugged, messy hair on anyone. I saw myself cutting and styling hair effortlessly and with ease.
A hairdresser meets different clients a day, that’s different personalities, styles, requirements. How do you start your day at work? What keeps you focused throughout the day?
I would cut and fix hair while music was playing and this would improve my focus. I tried creating styles of my own and this sparked a greater interest in hairdressing.
Where was your first barber shop location in Australia?
I arrived in Australia in 1992. I completed a course in hairdressing here, exploring ladies’ cuts, styles, and colours. This led me to start hairdressing in Brunswick until I opened my own business in 2000.
Being in the same area for 20 years, you must have insights on Brunswick’s history throughout the past 20 years. How has Brunswick changed in your view?
I have been in Brunswick for 20 years but it has changed rapidly. From the people and the community to the events that took place in Brunswick. The toll of financial pressure and the changing economy – this has all shaped the area.
During these years, there have been some difficult times, how did you cope? and managed to stay in business through the tough times?
Many businesses have suffered losses due to the transforming culture in Brunswick. It was initially a place of diversity and small business and has expanded now to include more high-end business. Improved infrastructure and increased professionalism.
Since the infancy of the salon, I have clients coming to get haircuts until now. This shows how important it is for me to focus on the client as an individual. It also speaks to the philosophy of hairdressing for me.
As an experienced hair dresser, do you accept begginers looking for apprenticeship and experience?
I taught so many different people who worked alongside me at Paul’s Hair Port – as students, apprentices, and assistant hairdressers. Some of them weren’t even hairdressers and just came looking for work. They now own their own salons or work in other salons and I’m proud of this.
What made the transition from being a berbershop to hair & beauty service for Paul's Hair Port?
I was the first to introduce threading as a beauty service in Brunswick in 1994. I regularly completed short courses for updated methods and ideas in hairdressing and styling, to improve the services at Paul’s Hair Port. This is how we grew from a ‘barbershop’ to a salon with a range of hair and beauty services.
Do you have special offers for customers? or discounts?
Around the time of the recession in Australia, I offered discounted services to pensioners and students and avoided increasing prices. I kept a smile on my face and welcomed clients with joy.
I wanted them to have a good experience of the salon, even if they were going through a hard time. I made long-lasting friends and kept their secrets. I always loved doing my job. That’s why I stayed.
I've had the pleasure of re-designing Paul's Hair Port official website recently. You can check it out at www.paulshairport.com.au
If you live in Brunswick, make sure you pay them a visit, you'll love the service.
Address: 302 Sydney Road, Brunswick 3056
Mobile: 04 0118 2404
Phone: 03 9381 0777
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