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Monday, April 22, 2024
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Barber shapes new business focus

Despite there being no shortage of local customers, a Masterton-based barber is shutting up shop to concentrate his efforts on his Carterton cutting business.

Jordy McDowall, who has been the owner-operator of Barbershop Jordy Masterton for the past nine years, said the main reason he’s closing the shop at the end of this month is that it doesn’t represent his new business focus, although staffing issues have also contributed to the decision.

The Masterton branch served the wider community and tried to cut anyone and everyone, he said.

“Now we are more focused on cutting men – creating an environment for men to come and relax, destress in their own booked time and walk away feeling great,” McDowall said.

“Our Carterton premises relate more to that – we have a pool table and a big TV to play sports clips on.

“It’s quite exciting to see what that shop can do because there are over 10,000 people in Carterton now.”

McDowall began the Masterton business in the back of a clothing shop, moving to its 41 Queen St location a year later.

Barbershop Jordy Carterton, meanwhile, was originally meant to open in 2021, but the premises were damaged in a High St fire on October 15 that year, and it wasn’t until April 2022 that it opened at its current 21 High St location.

McDowall also faced staffing issues last year, when half of his staff left to start their own barbershop businesses, he said, which led to him having to close the Carterton branch for about eight weeks because he struggled to run two shops with just two full-time and one part-time staff members.

After interviews to take on more staff “hadn’t worked out”, McDowall said he decided not to renew his Masterton lease and simplify his business.

Thanks to that decision, the Carterton branch will have four barbers, and McDowall believes it’ll be more accessible, thanks to its location in the “heart” of Wairarapa.

McDowall noted that the barber industry nationwide is under pressure due to a shortage of qualified workers “everywhere”.

Also, he said, some new graduates from private training institutes lack the standard skills and experience of qualified barbers, so “when we employ a fresh person, we’re always losing money until they can get more skilled”.

Barbershop Jordy Masterton’s final day for appointments is on March 28, after which clients are encouraged to book with Barbershop Jordy Carterton.

All going according to plan, McDowall intends to return to Masterton in the next two years to open an up-market barbershop.

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