What services do you offer?
Male grooming services such as hair cuts, beard trims, hot towel shaves and waxing.
When did your business start?
The business stared on June 1 2021.
How did the idea come about?
I am creative and found my passion in the skills of being a barber. My longtime Superman hobby (of cutting hair) provided the concept of The Fort Barbershop as a short version of The Fortress of Solitude (Superman’s safe haven), where I can fulfil and exceed all my customers’ expectations.
What experience or qualification does one need to be a professional barber?
I completed the Wahl men’s method undergraduate programme. Experience can be gained with practise, if cutting hair is a passion, but a formal recognised qualification is essential to run a barbershop as a business, especially if you are working with cutthroat blades and want to ensure a quality and professional service.
How many people do you work with?
I have an assistant to carry out the general ‘housekeeping’ role.
Are there any specific hairstyles or grooming requests that have become more popular recently?
Fades are definitely on top of the list, from young to old. They are the perfect cut for our summer months, from skins fades and taper fades to burst fades. The young adults go for short sides with textured, messy long fringes, which drive the parents mad.
What satisfaction do you get out of doing the work that you do?
I love it when a client walks into the Fort in a mess, and they leave completely transformed, even their eyes sparkle. I love meeting new people; I love building relationships with my clients. I also love the little guys, they can be a challenge to cut, but they bring such joy.
Who is your target market?
I cater to the barber needs of men and boys of all ages.
What are some of the goals you are currently working towards?
I want to get a children’s barber chair, a ‘tuck shop’, and perhaps something fun for the older children to do, while they wait, like an Xbox. I am constantly looking at how I can improve my service to ensure an amazing experience for each client.
What advice do you have for anyone interested in starting their own business?
I say take the leap, take the chance but do your homework first. It will be tough but keep going.
Find something you are passionate about, and you won’t ‘work’ a day in your life.
If you are offering a service, be present in your business and make sure it the experience that keeps the clients coming back, do not take short cuts.
Are appointments necessary, or do you also accommodate walk-ins?
To ensure clients are not disappointed we work on appointments from Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm. Walk-ins are welcome to try their luck. There is usually a gap or two available. Saturdays are strictly walk-ins from 9am-1pm.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Looking good is important for everyone and I am 100% hands-on and committed to providing the best experience for each client.
My no sleeve attire and beard, hide the softly spoken customer focused and friendly chap I am.
I’m great with children and interaction with all customers is personal as everyone is made to feel welcome and relaxed.
I love what I do and encourage everyone to give my service a try.
Where can our readers find you?
We are in shop number 6, Berea Mall, (corner of Pearce and Chamberlain roads). Bookings can be done via WhatsApp/call 079-539-4858. Follow us on Facebook @thefortbarbershop. We are also on Instagram and Tik Tok, (but being a bit old school, those platforms are still a learning curve).