Having a haircut is something women usually anticipate with pleasure, being as much about the "me time" as it is about the cut itself. It's time to read a magazine, enjoy a cup of coffee, chat with the hairdresser, feel pampered and come out looking and feeling better than we did when we walked through the door. For men and boys, it's often more of a cut and run experience, perfunctory and impersonal. That was before Sweeneys.
Before Sweeneys, I had to bribe my boys to get them to the barber. Their wriggling and writhing in the chair would have passers-by wondering whether they were on the chopping block rather than chopping locks. Before Sweeneys, it was queuing, a collection of tattered old sports and car magazines to read and background sounds of clippers cutting, scissors snipping and the occasional discussion about number 1's, number 2's and number 5's (that's haircut jargon, not toilet habits or your preference in Chanel perfume). This was not how I liked to spend my Saturday mornings but was a necessary evil.
Having discovered Sweeneys, I now get reminders from the boys that they're due a hair cut. They're eager to see what marvels Marcus can muster with their cowlicks and crowns. They enjoy having their hair cut by a dude who is closer to their age than their mother's. They love the fact that Marcus takes the time to tell them about how their hair grows and points out some of the interesting facts about their fabulous follicles.
What's so special about Sweeneys? Well, stepping in is like stepping back in time. The client sits in a genuine 1940's barber chair and is transported back to the archetypal barber shop of long ago, surrounded by furnishings and knick-knacks from an era when barber shops were at their height. Whilst hair cuts are all we need right now, the boys are eager to get that first bit of chin fluff so that they can have a proper "cut throat" shave because it sounds "cool" and because Marcus assures them it's the cleanest and closest shave a man can get.
Bread & Butter café: One of the connected businesses in this little village of surprises
I love Sweeneys because while the boys get their hair cut, I can leave them in Marcus' care and walk downstairs to the Bread & Butter café for a quiet coffee, the Side Car Bar for a drink or just browse around Warehouse FourTen www.warehousefourten.com.au/ or the pop up shop that offers an eclectic range of locally made products. These are all connected businesses, cleverly devised and managed to give it a village feel. I especially love Sweeneys because it's a place where boys and men can go to enjoy a bit of personal attention, some laddish laughter and come out with something more than a short back and sides.
Browse around one of the connected businesses, including this pop up shop
A quote from the movie "Barbershop" sums it up well. "Something as simple as a little haircut can change the way a man feels on the inside." Looking at the little lads as they walk out the door of Sweeneys, holding their hair high, I believe this is true.