The Business Of Barbering: An Interview With Brothers’ Barbershop Wien

This week was pretty exciting for me. I got the chance to do an interview with the newly established Brothers’ Barbershop WienSince their opening on April, 23rd everyone is cracking up about them and people are totally into it. Actually folks are so much into it, that the establishment is fully booked until the end of next week and furthermore two barbers are wanted for a job. So if you know someone who is “quite a barber”, go give them this information and maybe a chance for a cool job.

Front1

Now, for the interview. People have asked me why am I doing this interview anyway and it was an easy answer to give. Men’s hair trends have evolved over the past few years and what started off with an undercut became a force in which multiple hair trends for men were welcome. Among those trends the classic, rockabilly, barber’s cut! I noticed barbering when a friend of mine did an exchange semester in Amsterdam, and for we all know, the Netherlands are Europe’s top address for having a proper barber’s haircut. Still in Vienna the trend was not that fast, and we waited and waited, and waited… Then finally April, 23rd brought us a barber shop that is cool, fashionable, classic and makes you feel like you are just hanging out at a friends’ place. This is why I wanted to interview the Russian brothers of the barber shop in Neubaugasse 81, 1070- Wien .

Would you introduce yourself?

My name is Ilya, I am 25 (sitting in chair) and my brother is Ivan, 29. We’ve been working together for 3 years now in logistics for medical supply and now we are working together on this shop.

Ivan&Ilya
Ivan, 29 (left) Ilya, 25 (right)

How did you come up with the idea of opening up a barber shop in Vienna?

Ilya: Me and my brother were discussing ideas of doing something in Vienna. We thought about a cool coffee shop, or a bike shop but then, as fans of barbering we came up with the idea of establishing a barber shop in Vienna. You know in Moscow barber shops are no big deal anymore, and every man is seeing a barber. Yet in Vienna a barber shop is more of a rare thing, and we found it boring not having a barber shop here. As I am doing my master in accounting we thought it’d be a profitable idea.

First of all we created an Instagram account called “Secret Barber Shop Wien” and started to post random pictures of haircuts and stuff. Then we started to ask followers what they would like to see or have in Vienna, and we got tons of replies. They were asking us when and where the shop will be, in which district will it be etc.

We decided to go for the 7th district, as it is the most creative in Vienna. We were actually looking for 1 year until we found a place, which we thought would fit our concept. We even looked in the Lerchenfelderstraße and in the Neustiftgasse, but we couldn’t seem to find something approaching our ideal. One day though, we parked our car just to the opposite site of the street, when we actually saw this premises at the corner with its’ wooden veneer. We contacted the vendor and got the place 1 week later.

Then we started to renovate this place in December. It took us about 5 months and the last thing we had to do is find some barbers. I met Arthur at Snipes and I was caught by his razor faded uppercut and fully inked arms. So we started talking and it turned out that he wishes to be a barber. Now he’s finishing his master’s degree in hairdressing and works as a barber at our shop. And Patrick we met on Instagram, when a friend of his posted his name under a picture. At that time he worked in London and when Ivan contacted him, he was glad as he wished to go back to Austria and become a barber here.

Do you feel that the trends are strongly going back to the classic men’s haircut or do you think it’s just a temporary thing and all in all there will be a mixture of different haircuts and styles and what are your customers mostly into?

Ivan: Look, for men it is easy. They come to us with a picture or an idea and we do it. Basically it is 50% modern hairstyles and 50% the classic, conservative haircut. We have customers from teenagers to older gentlemen, and you simply can’t do a razor fade on a serious business man.

Let’s talk about beards. They’ve been coming up strong the past few years, and obviously it is a trend. But how do you take care of a beard on your own?

Ilya: Actually I’m quite tired of that question (laughs!). Each and every morning, and before the night I wash my beard with soap, solid or liquid, as it makes the beard softer, brush easier and it straightens it. Then I blow dry and comb it, which makes it even more soft and straight.

I use mustache wax, mostly strong hold wax and oil for the beard, just to make it shiny and smell good. For the mustache I twist it and curl it with a strong hold wax and for the rest of the beard I take a small amount of balm on to my nail and just rub it into the beard. It smells good, makes it shiny, easy to brush and more dense.

Sometimes I use beard oil instead, which makes the beard less dense, but not that greasy.

How often do you recommend seeing a barber for a proper look?

Ivan: Each two weeks for a proper look. You don’t have to cut your whole hair when you see a barber, just your sites and fades. This is why we thought it’d be a good idea to offer just a buzzer/clipper cut for 23€ instead for paying 36€ every 2 weeks.

You have a lot of cool products in your shop, which one is your personal favorite and why?

Ivan: I like everything from Baxter of California. I previously used Kiehl’s but the Baxter products are more appealing to me. And when I went to Italy – I’m a huge Italy fan – I found Marvis and other stuff. And of course I like Uppercut Deluxe for a strong hold and I think same goes for Ilya.

Products

Last but no least, what are you most excited about being the owner of this amazing barber shop?

Ivan: It is excitement when you see a guy come in and after a haircut he looks really fresh and his eyes brighten up.

Ilya: I love to watch the people, the different types of men coming in and see that our idea is beloved and appreciated. I hope we will become bigger and start to spread, Graz for example, which I think is a lovely city and Salzburg etc. Let’s see it!


Brothers’ Barbershop Wien
Neubaugasse 81
1070 – Vienna
Tel.: 01 9908304
https://www.facebook.com/barbershopwien

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