'Like winning the lottery': Local barber is top 4 in Australia
HE'S worked with the likes of Megan Gale, Lisa Gormley and Melina Vidler. Now he's been nominated as one of best barber shops in Australia.
The second time finalist of Australian Hair Industry Awards (AHIA) and owner of The Garage Barber Shop Rex Silver said being nominated for the prestigious accolade is a win in itself.
"We've had a really good year. Getting to the finals, I consider it winning, we're top four in the country," Mr Silver said.
"I'm feeling pretty confident. We're up against Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast."
The AHIA awards mean Mr Silver's barber shop is among the top four barber shops in Australia where there were more than 230 entries.
"(The nomination) cements your name, it's your peers awarding you this so it's them saying you're the best this year," he said. "It's like winning the lottery."
Mr Silver said he nominated himself last year, but this year the industry nominated his business which he values more than simple likes on Facebook.
Although many businesses in Gladstone have felt the struggle, Mr Silver said his barber shop has only increased in turnover.
"We've been increasing in the last 12 months when others have gone down," he said.
"Grooming and hairdressing is something that's never waded, even through the depression. When people feel down, they get their hair done because they want to feel good with other aspects of life."
The award winning barber said having the high calibre of judges at AHIA cements his title within the industry.
"(To win) would be an amazing feather in my cap. The doors would open incredibly and the opportunities will end up giving me potential to open more businesses," Mr Silver said.
"All you need to do is try your best and be consistent and offer the best service you can. Don't reinvent the wheel."
Mr Silver said the barber shop sees about 350 men through the door each week and have been running at 80% capacity.
For the seasoned barber, it's the stand out golden moments with clients he enjoys the most.
"Luke was six and he said he had to have Rex cut his hair. When I met him he said 'I'll have the metro thank you'. It spun me out, it was beautiful. A gold moment," Mr Silver said.
"People say it's the best they've ever looked and we get comments like that all the time. It's better than winning awards."
The Garage Barber Shop is planning to open in Bundaberg at the end of March with the hopes to expand through central and north Queensland.
As well as expanding his brand, Mr Silver said he is being considered to be a national educator for the internationally renowned hair brand Wella.
"I like to give back to the industry, training is a big part," he said.
The winner of AHIA will be announced on Sunday, March 26 at a gala night in Brisbane.