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INTERVIEW - Jack Reed Barbershop

featuring: Danielle Hannah

Just north of Brisbane you will find the Jack Reed Barbershop. A place where the clients can ‘shoot the shit’ and relax without any fear of judgement. The barbers at Jack Reed Barbershop hope to do more than cut hair. They plan to help the community by providing a possibly life changing experience of a haircut, for those in need. Read on to find out more about The Jack Reed Barbershop and their incredible mission.

Barber Brands International: Firstly, who is speaking on behalf of Jack Reed Barbershop?
Jack Reed Barbershop: Danielle Hannah

BBI: The big question: scissors or clippers?
JRB: Both; they are the yin and yang of creating a style for the client. Don’t get me wrong, I love my clippers, but you can’t limit style options by choosing one tool exclusively.

BBI: How did your community involvement begin? Can you tell us about The Jack Reed Foundation?
JRB: Teresa and I come from the human services fields, our careers have included working with people with mental health issues, disabilities and the aging. So, when we started the Barbershop it just felt like a natural extension to continue working with disadvantaged members of our community.

The ‘1000 haircuts for the homeless’ project was our first real attempt to use Barbering to help make a difference in the lives of people who were doing it tough. The success of that project and the overwhelming response of support we got from the barbering sector made us think bigger and smarter. We knew we needed to form a charity to open the doors to all sorts of philanthropic interests. So, the Jack Reed Foundation was born.

The Foundation is dedicated to helping people restore their sense of dignity, and to finding pathways to making transformational change in their lives. Our motto ‘dignitas una per vitan intranet’ translates to ‘dignity through life changing transformation’

BBI: Why do you think it is important for Barbers to help within their community?
JRB: Something as simple as a haircut can help to restore a person’s sense of dignity. Having a regular haircut is something that most of us just take for granted. When you’re living in a hostel, sleeping rough or couch surfing a haircut is often not high on your list of priorities, which would be dominated by finding food and shelter for the day.

How we feel influences how we look, but the reverse it also true: How We Look Influences How We Feel. We can’t tell you how many people come into our trailer with their head down not looking at anyone but left with their head held high and a big simile on their face. A fresh haircut also changes how people see you and in turn how they treat you.

BBI: What is your favourite place you have ever cut hair?
JRB: My initial answer was anywhere and everywhere, because when I’m cutting it doesn’t feel like I’m turning up to work. I do an early morning run at the waterfront with another charity who provides food. It’s beautiful to watch the sunrise up over the water while I’m doing what I love.

BBI: How did you come up with the goal of 1000 haircuts and did you complete the challenge?
JRB: 1000 haircuts felt like the right number at the time. We knew it would be a big commitment going in, but we wanted to make sure that we challenged ourselves. Why do 100 if 1000 was possible?

I am proud to say that we reached the 1000 target 11 months into our 12-month project.

Befittingly, haircut number 1000 was completed at a homeless event with a young man who was trying to get his life back on track.

Reaching the goal didn’t stop us and we completed just over 1200 cuts in the calendar year. The project now has a life of its own and hopefully continues for a long time to come.

BBI: What is the Jack Reed Foundations goals for 2018?
JRB: While continuing the 1000 haircuts project, the Foundation has its eyes set on the 99 Apprenticeship Project. It will take a lot longer than 12 months to complete but benefits to the community and the individuals will hopefully be exponential.

The idea:

Build a series of ‘pop-up’ (container based) Barber shops that offer Barbering Apprenticeships for homeless and “at risk” youth.

Provide a unique training package that includes life skills and psychological training that better prepares young people for working life.

Make haircuts for homeless a compulsory part of the apprenticeship.

The Reasons Why:
- Unemployment is too high for young people
- Barbering is a nominated skill shortage area
- A Barber trade is highly portable
- Youth homelessness is too high
- Youth mental health problems is too high
- Life transformation is possible through gaining skills

We are madly looking for sponsors to help with products, equipment, container fitout and everything else that goes with making such an ambitious project come to life. We’re also looking for people with a profile in the community to act as ambassadors for the foundation. And just in case that doesn’t keep us busy enough, we are trying to raise funds to make a documentary about the journey of the young people involved.

If you can contribute to this amazing, ambitious and admirable cause, please email info@jackreedfoundation.org

Follow Jack Reed Barbershop @jackreedbarbershop & @jackreedfoundation

Or visit their website jackreedfoundation.org