Honest Al’s Barbershop; Punk Rock, Big Beards and Tattoos:
Honest Al’s is a barbershop which is located in Stockholm. It’s been open for 9 years this year and has always been run by its namesake Honest Al. First thing we noticed when we ran into Al and his former apprentice at Stockholm Ink Bash 2017. Was that both guys were themselves heavily bearded, well dressed, and at least Al had loads of tattoos. They fit right in with the rest of the crowd at the convention, which was very nice to see. After Mads from our Mediazink team, had enjoyed a beard trim from Al, he sat down with him for an interview.
Honest Al himself has been a barber since the late 80’s. However, he had a break from the business but picked it back up when he opened his own shop. There were simply no barber shops when he moved to Sweden 20 years ago. So for 17 years he cut hair instead. It took him almost 20 years to raise enough money to open his barbershop. But today it is a flourishing successful business.
Honest Al’s Barbershop; Expanding The Business… Slightly:
There are currently 5 employees in the shop other than Honest Al himself. Should anyone be looking for work as a barber, they are looking for new employees and apprentices at the moment.
This is partially because Al has a new project coming up, which he needs more people for. They are making a barbershop in a combined brewery and coffee shop, still in Stockholm though.
Al wasn’t actually planning on opening this extra shop, however, it seemed to fit into what he does and how he likes to do things quite easily. So he thought why not? It is a no bookings place, with only walk-ins and it will remain cheap, just how Al prefers it, an everyman’s barbershop.
Honest Al and his barbershop/team, don’t usually go to many conventions. But he was asked to fill in last minute, for a barbershop that couldn’t attend anyways. So he felt it would be a fun experience and why not?
He had one rule though, he wanted, in his mind, to do it better than the guys who did it before and who were supposed to be there. Even though we haven’t seen the other guys, we bet he smoked the competition; Al’s barbershop looked awesome at the convention and had an authentic barbershop feeling to it.
But Honest Al is more than anything, quite happy with how things are now and satisfied with his barbershop. He has quite a good and loyal clientele who loves what they do, so he does not have to chase after work or new clients, making it a much more relaxed barbershop to visit.
Beards, Tattoo and An Old Fashioned No Bullsh*t Barber Shop:
When it comes to tattoos, to Al it is the same culture as the bearded-men/barbershop culture. He himself has even got several barber themed tattoos in his own collection. So he wasn’t worried whether people at the tattoo convention, would like his barbershop. Him and his tattoo artist even send people to each other’s shops, sharing clientele a bit.
When it comes to the image of the barbershop; what Al wanted was an old-school punk rock barbershop. A barbershop where what you see is what you get. No false pretences or anything sparkling added for entertainment. Just an old fashioned barbershop.
At Honest Al’s they do have an ace up their sleeve, which they use especially during the summer. They have a barbershop truck. It is essentially an old truck Al bought very cheap, that they then modified into a road ready barbershop. So they then take this barbershop truck around to event’s they get hired to attend. So they get paid pre-agreed fee and then the shaves are free at the event. They even attended a few festivals around Sweden this summer. The whole idea was kind of inspired by food trucks; if they can’t come to us we will come to them, sort of mentality.
When it comes to the words Al leaves us with, he can’t help but smile a bit, beneath his magnificent beard;
barbershops might be old-school, but never old fashioned or out of style.
It is very clear, that this humble and contempt barber has still got some punk rock in him. Plenty of it, which he brings into his barbershop in the best way possible! You owe this to your beard and yourself, if you are ever in Stockholm, go to Honest Al’s Barbershop!