Since the Bikini Barber barbershop opened their doors in March this year, they have been causing quite the stir in the small town of Langebaan, a popular holiday destination, situated on the West Coast.
While some of the residents welcomed the idea of beautiful ladies in bikinis offering services, varying from your standard clipper cuts and beard care to waxing and massages, others have been not as welcoming to say the least.
I chatted to marketing manager Marlize Erasmus who answered a few questions about this unusual business venture.
What inspired you to open the barber shop?
Job creation, also seem like an extremely unique business venture as there are no Bikini Barbers in South Africa. It's an American concept.
How do you select the ladies who work there?
We ask ladies to apply that would like to further their career in barbering. We ask that they have bikini bodies obviously. Or rather athletic build ladies to apply. We provide training, their kits, make-up and clothing.
How many ladies do you have working in the store?
We currently have 5.
How would you describe your clientele?
Our clientele is literally all ages and obviously all men.
What contributes to the success of your barbershop?
I think we create a fun environment. Yet we deliver a professional service. Clients are extremely happy.
Langebaan is a small town and I’ve noticed on Facebook that the salon has received a lot of negative responses. How do you respond to the haters out there?
Yes this was a difficult two weeks. We have been extremely bullied by the public. There is a difference between having an opinion and bluntly trashing us and the ladies. We post videos of what we do. But unfortunately, people will gossip.
It’s freezing cold at the moment. How do the ladies keep warm in this weather?
The barbershop is heated. Its a comfortable warm temperature inside.
Have you had any lady clients come into the shop?
We had a lady come in enquiring about an undercut. Ladies are welcome. In fact, we usually tell our clients to bring their wives along. We offer a mean cup of coffee!
What do the ladies do when men become touchy?
The ladies are trained to handle the touchy men. They explain that touching is not allowed. I have to say that there have not been any issues with that at all.
We are extremely strict when it comes to those things. We certainly do not want to create the impression that our ladies are cheap. They are all trained professional barbers.
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