The Garage Barber Shop in close shave for top award
ACCORDING to Rex Silver, just making it to the finals of Barber Shop of the Year is quite an achievement.
"We're competing with 260 other barbershops around the country and to make it into the finals for the third time is amazing," he said.
Mr Silver said his business had made it into the top four barbershops being judged around the country, and is the only one outside a major Australian city.
But being nominated was the easy part.
The competition is pretty rigorous, the judges look at what you've contributed to the industry, your philosophy, training, products and how green your salon is," he said.
Judging will take place in late April.
"It takes about a month to get ready, even though we already do a lot of work after hours to stay current and on top of the game," Mr Silver said.
The team must be doing something right because the business has won eight awards in four years.
"Our business model is a bit different to others. It's a themed shop, that offers a complete, and traditional, experience for mens' barbering and grooming needs.
"Plus I've spent years developing products and training my great team," he said.
According to Mr Silver, barbershops are making a comeback around the world as men become more interested in improving their image.
"Men feel comfortable and confident to ask about various trends and even boys seem to know what they want when it comes to wanting to look good.
Grandad wouldn't have left the house without looking his best and today's young men are following in his footsteps," he said.
For the next few weeks the team will endure rigorous judging, plus radio and magazine interviews.
"Essentially the competition will be a full analysis of our business and our careers," Mr Silver said.
Final judging takes place on April 29 but win or lose Mr Silver believes that future looks bright.
Especially for Gladstone's men who don't have to leave town to be among the most well-groomed in the country.