Recounted by Janice
I was lying on the couch calling out random business name ideas with my stream of thoughts, until I blurted 'Silk Barbers'.
'Yes, that's the name!' Jaymz replied. Though actually, I can't remember what he replied. It was too long ago.
SILK stands for 'Style Is Love Kindness.' Our business was built by actions and intentions rooted in SILK.
2016. Jaymz enrolled in barbering school, and got injured at work shortly afterwards. He lost function in both shoulders which made him redundant. I became the sole breadwinner. With love and determination for the trade, Jaymz attended school on pain killers and between rehabilitation. He was eventually diagnosed with bursitis and fibromyalgia. I had to drive him to school because his shoulders couldn't - as well as help him with basic things around the home.
Stress and mistreatment drove me out of my workplace at the end of 2016. I didn't find another job in time for the new year. Desperation had me cleaning homes and taking on random gigs in 2017 (a very humbling experience).
Jaymz doorknocked at countless barbershops across Melbourne - didn't care if they paid $10 per hour. He just needed the experience and money. After every stint, the reason for letting him go was the same. His injuries were hindering his speed and performance (and admittedly affected his mood).
We eventually grew desperate. Couldn't even scrape pennies for petrol or food. I dared not tell my parents out of shame, though my gauntness made them speculate.
It was a predicament for our landlord too. 'I love you guys,' he said, 'but if rent's not paid, I can't let you stay.'
'Let me cut hair then,' Jaymz proposed. 'Can I use this place for business?'
Out of love and kindness, our landlord gave permission and opportunity - just as he (as a complete stranger) gave Jaymz the opportunity to start over in life by pulling him out of homelessness a few years prior. That's another story, but also an inspiration for SILK.
Our first barbershop setup was embarrassing. It was my Kmart standing mirror placed on top of an old bedside table. Jaymz used a wobbly barstool (collected from someone's trash) as the first barber chair. I set up the online booking system and social media platforms and posted every single day. We still remember the moment our first client rang the doorbell. We bounced around hysterically and cried. When Jaymz' body was in most pain, the haircuts would take over an hour, but the clients still came back. We are grateful for their love and kindness.
2018. Jaymz was recommending and using popular men's grooming products on his clients. After some research, he realised that he was applying harsh formulas. 'I can't sell something I don't believe in!' is what he would say time after time. I took him seriously and did my research. I connected Silk Barbers with an Australian lab to source healthier organic plant-based hair products - free of silicones, parabens, and other chemicals that could damage hair over time. That's how our product range was born. We want to serve our clients with love and kindness, from services to products to experience.
Fast forward to 2021, our businesses is growing strong (with the exception of the pandemic in 2020 which forced us to shut down and relocate).
We believe in quality over quantity, and want to inspire others to never give up on their higher potentials. Style Is Love Kindness.