Ash and Oak Barbershop - An update!

My name is Josh Kinnes and I am a Belgrave local.

My working background for the last 15 years has been in the field of youth work. 

I opened the barbershop not only as a business to support the local community but to create a hub to engage with local people but go back to the ‘old school’ values of the traditional barbershop by making people feel important and look good by getting a great haircut and good conversation.

I am currently 1 month away from completing my barbers course and have been offering $10 hair cuts as a means to get people in and practice what I have been learning at school. 

I wrote this caption for a T-shirt we created after we got out of lockdown at the end of 2021. 

Risk it for the Biscuit’ - for years I’ve been driving through the Main Street, I would see this shop and say to my wife, ‘babe.. that would be such a cool spot for a barbershop.. I love the doors, the windows..’. 

Fast forward to 2020, in the middle of a pandemic we decided to embark on our first business, purchasing Ray Steels Leather Goods, a fun little business that was started by my friend and mentor Matt and his wife Lani.  

We knew that these products, the leather aprons, bags and wallets would need a home of their own and not just online. 

With a cancelled trip to Bali and the desire to pursue a new passion, we decided to make the fantasy of the barbershop a reality.  

With zero business experience, no barber experience and actually no barbers lined up to work work us, we signed a lease and started fitting out a barbershop.

A phrase that I kept saying to Desiree, maybe more as a way to maintain self assurance that this project wasn’t going to be a complete failure was.. ‘well babe.. risk it for the biscuit’. 

So here we are.. 2 or 3 lockdowns later, a few legend barbers deep, a tattoo studio, a community of amazing customers and we’re still here. 

The ‘biscuit’ for us has always been 

-provide a service to get a quality hair cut

-creating a community

-providing other creative people a place to showcase and sell their products

-make an impact on the community around us