MEET ALI - THE MAN BEHIND THE CHAIR IN CESSNOCK
January 26, 2021
We are pleased to announce that we bring in the new year with a new Barber Industries Barbershop in the Lederer Cessnock. The barbershop is located directly opposite Woolworths and looks to be turning some heads. Today we have a quick Q&A and catch up with Ali Mudhafr, the man behind the chair at Cessnock.
Bringing in the new year with the grand opening of the new barbershop is surely an exciting time for you. Looks like you have hit the ground running? How has the support from the community been so far?
It’s been fantastic, we have a great location here and there are people cruising past and discovering us every day. We are getting loads of comments on the look of the new shop and also loads of positive feedback on the service as well. The support has been great, especially mid-week, we have really busy. I think when more people realise that we are open all weekend we will be equally busy on Saturday and Sunday too. So yeah, it’s been great, off to good start and really happy here.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the journey that led you to where you are with this exciting space at the Lederer in Cessnock?
I learnt the skills of the trade working with the company in Sydney and I am really grateful that I was mentored by those really top level barbers and I think that’s really important. Who you learn from is just so important in how you develop and how you apply your craft. The opportunity arose to open this barbershop and because my whole family is involved with the shop, we have all relocated here to Cessnock and are enjoying this new chapter together.
What motivates you and what do you love most about what you do? Is there anyone leading the way in the industry that you draw inspiration from?
I love where the industry is heading, I love the evolution of the modern hairstyles. Yeah there are those classic and timeless styles but then there are also modern takes on those styles or those little nuances in technique that make them more contemporary. There is always this progression happening and you really need to be on the pulse or I feel you will get left behind. There is always something new to learn or a little adaption that pops up, I love that the change keeps work exciting and enjoyable.
As far as inspiration goes I love what Josh O’meara-Patel is doing, he also works as an educator but his work on the tools is really impressive and a little out of the box, I feel he is one of the guys really pushing the boundaries. He does really extravagant hairstyles, you can see that he is testing different ideas but at the same time, he delivers really smart and clean haircuts.
Did you know that this area was long referred to as the coalfields? It has always been a kind of blue collar working class town. Do you think that the Barber Industries Concept has found another good home here?
Yeah I’ve long known that mining is a big part of the industry up here in the Hunter Valley and yeah for sure, I think that the traditional style of the shop sits well in a place like this. I think it’s the service offering that is the key though. Beard trims and shaves have been really popular. I think that there is a lot of blokes that are doing big stints at work and then when they are coming off, they want to get a haircut, clean up the beard or get a shave and then hit the reset button. It’s great to see such a strong demand for that side of the service, it’s part of what separates us from other barbershops so it’s all good signs so far.