Recently we’ve had the pleasure of catching up with Josh Mihan from The Bearded Man, a barbershop on Melbourne’s Chapel St. that is shaking up Melbourne’s “barber scene”. Focused on the mantra “Cuts. Beans. Beats.” The Bearded Man has a very unique and refreshing approach that stands out amongst a city filled with much of the same.
Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind “The Bearded Man?”
I’ve actually been a barber for about 15 years and I’ve spent some of those years travelling the world and cutting hair in all kinds of different spots. Throughout this time travelling I always kind of felt like something was missing in the barbering world. After sitting down and thinking about just what this something was I came up with The Bearded Man.
The shop appeals to all types of people; we want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable coming in to get a cut. Doesn’t matter if you’re a kid, grandparent or even Jack over there, our go to man at the door, The Bearded Man is a place for everyone. We’ve focused on keeping this place grounded, we don’t think we’re ‘too cool for school’ and we cater to both men and women.
The design of the place quickly makes a short visit into a full experience. I’m quite glad I took the time before setting up my own place to work out exactly how style works in the industry. We have a lot of natural materials – lots of wood and concrete – it all fits together to make the design I was going for.
We’ve been going strong for two years now and the culture and vibe of the place still draws everyone in.
How about your individual story? How did you end up here?
Like I said before, I’ve been a barber for 15 years. I started off working for my dad in his barbershop but I made sure to get out of there quickly! Right after that I started working for a company called Bieber who have Academy and other salons across Melbourne.
After that I travelled for five years. I moved to London – that’s where I really began to refine my skills as a barber. In London I was able to understand the true essence of what it is to be a barber.
When I came back to Melbourne I wanted to be able to do it for myself so I opened The Bearded man just so Jack over there could have a job.
What kind of people do you tend to attract?
We’ve definitely succeeded in our mission to attract everyone, we see everyone come through those doors. Our customers come in not just for a haircut but for the experience too. Over time we’ve seen our consumer base really build up. They all expect an experience and to be well looked after, it’s not just about the haircut, it’s about all about you within the moment.
We want to be able to put a smile on our customers’ faces and make sure we make their day just a bit better.
What do you think about the future of the barber/grooming industry in Australia?
The industry is definitely getting a lot stronger. The problem is, with growth of this size comes a lack of education in the market place. It’s important people understand what they’re doing with their hair and that’s why I also try and get involved in the educational side of things. I currently work on big hair shows across the country and complete day courses too.
My advice to everyone is to make sure your barber knows exactly what you want in a hair cut and that they themselves are completely educated and qualified.