Mother and daughter barbers, Deborah Bellis and Kayla Olsen, are combining their skills and experience in a new shop called Flames Barbers, under Storage & More, in Hamatana Road, Snells Beach.
Deborah says she is proud her daughter is following in her footsteps, but not surprised.
“She’s been watching me cut hair for most of her life,” Deborah says. “When she was old enough, she used to sweep the floor and then she started tending the counter and making appointments.”
After leaving school, Kayla did a nine month course with the Cut Above Academy in Auckland. She then spent three months training with the same barber who taught her mother in Lancaster, in the United Kingdom.
“The haircut a man will get from a barber is quite different from the one he would get from a hairdresser,” Kayla says. “Barbers are trained to get the sharp edges that men like and know how to work specifically with short hair. Clippers and razors are our tools of trade.
“I just love the fact that a man can completely change his look after 15 to 20 minutes in a barber’s chair.”
Prior to training as a barber, Deborah worked in aged care and then spent 13 years working with children with special needs.
“This background has always been an asset and we make a point of going the extra mile to make sure all our clients feel comfortable and relaxed. This can mean turning the lights and music off for an autistic child or providing extra distractions to keep a Downs Syndrome child happy while he is in the chair.”