Though the Internet has taken over our lives, there are still a few things that can’t be done with a computer, smart phone or tablet. The services of mechanics, chefs and hair stylists still need that human touch. These are jobs that will always be in high demand, which suits Giuliano Uribe, owner of Hillside Barber Shop, just fine.
Hillside Barber Shop opened in Cumberland three years ago. Uribe had been cutting hair for the previous 20 years, buying a cheap pair of clippers with a group of friends when he was 16 years old. “We would give one another hack job haircuts,” Uribe said of what started as a hobby before turning into a career. As his skills developed, his clientele increased, which led to an apprenticeship at another barbershop. From there, Uribe rented a chair at another barbershop before finally branching out on his own.
“It wasn’t too difficult,” Uribe said of making the move to open his own shop. “I bought an established barbershop, so all I had to do was apply for my shop license online through the board of health.”
Location was a key factor for Uribe. He felt lucky finding a location on a high-traffic street. The store was already established as a barbershop, so renovations were minor. It was just a matter of letting current clients know where he was going and getting the word out to other potential clients in need of a haircut.
Uribe feels that his work ethic and hairdressing skills are key to his business growing. People leave looking good, and their friends want to know where the haircut came from. “I still believe the best way to build clientele is by word of mouth,” Uribe says. To keep up with the times, he has started using Facebook as a form of advertising. While still in its growing process, the Hillside Barber Shop Facebook page features (besides all the general business information) updates, pictures of freshly cut hair and customer reviews, which are all positive, from clients and spouses alike.
“Great place for a proper cut,” says a happy spouse. “My husband ALWAYS comes home looking fantastic.”
Uribe is a fan of being his own boss. He calls the shots, makes his own hours, determines his own pricing and gets to run his business to his specifications. Though the only barber at the shop, Uribe is running a thriving business that is busy throughout the day. “When you rent a chair, you have to deal with the way the owner likes his/her shop run. As an owner, you have all the say on daily operations.”
Uribe offers a wide variety of cuts, which includes fades, flat tops, regular cuts and custom cuts. “If you can think it up or show me a picture, I can do it,” he says proudly of his styling skills. In addition to cuts, he also uses the straight edge razor for beard lineups, neck and face shaves.
“I really enjoy my work,” Uribe says. He considers himself a classic barber with a modern touch; someone who puts in the extra effort to give his clients an experience that goes beyond the haircut that will need to be redone in a few weeks. “It’s great when a client comes with a terrible mess of hair and you can tell they’ve had a tough day. After I give them a nice haircut and maybe hear them out a little, they thank me and leave with a smile and more confidence. Sometimes a haircut is much more than just a haircut.”
Hillside Barber Shop is located at 363 Broad St in Cumberland. Hours of operation are Tues and Wed, 9am – 5pm; Thurs and Fri, 9am – 7pm; and Sat 8am – 4pm. Available for walk-ins and by appointment. You can reach the shop by calling 401.359.2797. Check them out on Facebook as well: facebook.com/pages/Hillside-Barber-Shop/151670974849154?sk=timeline