Q&A with Patreece Corban of Mancraft Barbers (Best Salon Design) | The Industry Awards 2018

Mancraft barbers

Found in Taupō, MANCRAFT’s impressive
barbershop was crowned winner of the 2018 Best Salon Design award. We spoke
with owner Patreece Corban to ask her about her new barbershop and give us some
insight into what inspired its design.

does it feel to be the 2018 winner of Best Salon Design?

We are very proud to have won this award by
creating an innovative, new age barbershop. We couldn’t have done it without
our dream team of amazing professional contractors that helped our vision come
to life!

was the vision for your barbershop?

The inspiration for MANCRAFT was a ‘boy’s
club’ with a grooming den, created out of sustainable materials. The cool,
masculine, recycled space that the team at MANCRAFT envisaged had to be
functional as well as suit the needs of the men that it was trying to
attract.  Staying true to this vision
meant that it took almost a year to settle on the final design.

Our three overarching objectives for the
fit-out were:

  • The design needed to fit the
    manly, rustic and sustainable brand positioning of MANCRAFT.
  • The layout had to provide space
    for three barber’s chairs, grooming room, children’s haircut area, reception
    space, staff lunchroom, laundry facilities and sufficient storage.
  • Every aspect of the design had to
    be environmentally friendly and enable the business to deliver a truly ‘green’
    customer experience.

Tell us
about the space you created

We have created a place where boys can hang
out. Fathers and sons come along together to have their hair done - Dad relaxes
in the leather backed traditional barber’s reclining chair while his son can
choose from a vintage car or a motorbike to sit on. This has proved a huge hit,
and does a great job in keeping children still and safe while getting their

Space was allocated for three barbers chairs
each positioned in front of large copper framed mirrors. As the floor plan was
a long rectangle, a barrier was needed to add visual interest but also to
create a more private space for hair washing. This had to be big enough to fit
an additional chair as well as a reclining hair-wash station. The entrance
needed to be open and inviting, a place people felt comfortable to wait.
Finally, to attract little boys, as well as big ones, we needed a cute, fun
kids area.

We are always looking for ways to extend the
sustainable theme. The recycled wood gift vouchers were a way to give customers
a sense of MANCRAFT before they even arrive. They are rough and rugged, and
recycled so that they can be re-sold to new customers time and time again.

did you source the material for your barbershop from?

We began with recycled materials, for example,
old wine barrels from a Hawkes Bay winery were made into wet shaving sinks, old
beer crates were mounted onto the feature wall for product shelving and we were
lucky enough to source 50 year old wooden planks from a local jetty which we
used for more product shelving and the top of our bar area.

Our feature wall on the outside of the
grooming den was lined with recycled rustic tin which was sourced from a local
business that closed down. The rusty red colour of the tin, added a sense of
warmth to the salon’s environment. Recycled steel frames were sanded back and
made into waiting benches. A wooden dividing wall was constructed using
discarded pallets. An old reception desk was also sourced which had an
incredible hand carved wooden top and this was then lined with more recycled

Time was also spent visiting second hand shops
where antique cut throat shavers, hand clippers and an old telephone were
found. These are now proudly displayed around the space, adding to the rustic
look and feel.

How do
you feel your barbershops design has made you and your business successful?

We achieved our vision by not compromising. We
knew that to truly create an authentic customer experience, the environment had
to look and feel masculine, sustainable and rustic.

As the build progressed, we focused on
recruiting suitably qualified staff and sourcing products with biodegradable
packaging. We held out to hire the awesome team that delivers the MANCRAFT
services today. The whole customer experience makes sense – right down to the
products we sell. The result today is that everywhere you look within MANCRAFT
you see just how much we value sustainability, and how much effort we have put
into creating a space where men feel at home.

The best result, and one we did not see
coming, is that our team love where they work. The space is cool, comfortable
and classy – there’s always a great feeling within the salon. This spills over
onto our clients who just keep on coming back.

What would you say to salons, spas and barbers considering entering The Industry Awards in the future?

The Industry Awards are such an incredible way to actually stop and have a closer look at your business, which is so beneficial to your future growth.

The Industry Awards