Born and raised in Macau, Sara Fonseca went to Portugal for studies and took a course in hairdressing and has been working around with a multitude of scissors, clippers, and razors ever since. Continuing that profession from Portugal to Macau in a series of salons and barbershops and even at-home service, she has a number of devoted clients that became friends. And recently, Sara decided to open up her own barbershop in Macau called “The Macau Barbershop”.
What is the concept behind “The Macau Barbershop?”
The story behind it is simple, I’m really thankful for my clients that enjoyed and supported my services at my own place. Macau Barbershop is just a place where I can professionally perform my tailors and also at the same time a place where my clients can just relax in a more spacious environment.
Why did you decide to set up a barbershop in Macau?
I could’ve stayed in Portugal where my family was, being Portuguese but I was born and raised in Macau and every time I came back it just felt like home. It was more than an attachment, it was a place where I envisioned my own shop. Even before my plans on opening a business materialized, my chosen destination was Macau.
How is your barbershop different from the other barbershops in Macau?
I personally don’t think there’s any difference in terms of the flow and outcome of one barbershop, but I think what differs is the concept of each barbershop. My perception is to take care of my clients, I don’t want them to leave the room unsatisfied, I want to make them happy and be able to enjoy the whole experience and think of my shop as a very chill and homely place where you can either choose to stop by for a cut or a chat.
What service is most popular amongst locals?
It definitely has to be the haircut and wash, but we’ve recently noticed that hair graphics are the trend these days. Our bookings for graphic cut reservations rose after posting one photo on our page. And it’s a nice sight to see Asian culture slowly adapting to the present age of hair designs.
What is your recommended cut?
As barbers, I think its very important to always put ourselves in the shoes and mind of our clients. With regards to the client not knowing what they want or telling us to work our way with it, it’s always important to read them from their style, status, and stability. I tend to have a little chat with my clients before giving them a cut to have a brief idea of what they might like to have or how I can envision myself cutting to their liking.
Describe the desired customer experience? What can they expect when they come here?
Once they step into the shop, they should feel very comfortable and no intimidation at all. They can spend an hour or two of their time in a peaceful environment, with good music and a chill ambiance and also where they can put their hair in the trusting hands of the barber leaving the shop feeling good.
What are the biggest challenges with having a small business like yours in Macau?
Challenges in opening a business are never easy, but for my shop, I think it would have to be the waiting process, the time frame of everything from how to start, where or what to do first, etc. Envisioning everything is completed as planned just doesn’t work and in reality, it takes more than that.
What is the biggest misconception about barbershops?
The biggest misconception is that barbershops curate with just one style, especially in Macau when you hear the word barbershop immediately what pops up in the local’s minds are those old vintage barbershops that are in hidden corners run by the elders that are a rare sight in the scene these days. But its more than just cuts, buzz and graphic hair; it’s more about how a barber’s job is to amend a guest’s hair to suit their needs and not just about whats in trend or what the barber itself thinks works best.
For bookings and inquires on The Macau Barbershop please visit www.themacaubarbershop.com or Facebook page for more. Be sure to also follow their Instagram account to see cool posts of Sara Fonseca’s works.