Finding the right barber can be a lifelong search. Just ask any man who’s had too much, or not enough of his locks contemptuously chopped off and stepped out onto the street disaffected.
Geelong’s own barber Mikey Moore can vouch for this.
“The most expensive haircut I’ve ever had, was by far the worst haircut I’ve ever had,” he laughs, reflecting on a time 10 years prior.
After paying an exuberant price for a haircut and coming out so dissatisfied, Mikey knew he had to find his barber – someone who could excel in getting the discerning man’s ‘do’ just right.
“So I did,” he laughs. “I found an amazing barber who was recommended to me by my tattooist and we hit it off straight away. He barbered me through everything; and one day we just got chatting and he threw it to me, and just said, ‘why don’t you do it’?”
Coming from a long-standing career in hotels, Mikey’s story is one of passion. At a pivotal point in his career, Mikey stopped and walked away from hotels with no formal education of barbering, and began his training under the esteemed Fabian Sfameni from Uncle Rocco’s Barber Shop in Port Melbourne – an urban legend in the barber world.
“I knew if I had to learn, I had to learn from the best. I spent three years under Fab, and I learnt everything you possibly can. Barbering is repetition, it’s watching, observing, repetition. I gave it my all for three years.
“It is hard work, but it’s just a bit of blood, sweat and tears. That’s what it’s about, we’re using our bodies, it’s what we were born to do. I could think of a lot worse things,” he smiles.
That passion is the element that drives his ample skills in men’s grooming and styling. It was a love of coffee however that sparked Mikey’s interest in Geelong and his place on Little Malop street.
“I was checking out Cartel Coffee about two and a half years ago and I was looking at this amazing space [Little Malop Street] and I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking ‘why was there no activation, why was there no bars, why is there no restaurants, and how is there no barber shops?’. We were in the middle of the CBD and no one could really tell me the answer.
“It got to that point where there was an opportunity here on Little Malop and I wanted to keep going because I’m passionate about barbering and I wanted to get that message out there. Geelong seemed like it was ready for it,” he says, “It just felt right – the space was right, there was no one that I could see offering a traditional barber service in the immediate Geelong vicinity, I loved what was happening with Cartel and I’ve got a strong affinity with specialty coffee – it just made sense.”
Since opening in March of 2017, Mikey has cemented his place in Little Malop street, delivering on a consistent, sharp haircut with every visit for every man, along with a delectable serve of Cartel coffee.
Boasting an Americana and skater culture influence, the space largely reflects Mikey’s own personality; his eye for detail and the idea of creating a genuine male hang out.
“I am very much a traditionalist in terms of technique of barbering, but I really want to do it in an environment that is more modern and more importantly, is my personality,” he explains. “The brand itself is very much inspired by sports, and the brotherhood that goes hand in hand with that. I don’t remember anything about my senior year other than skateboarding and playing basketball, that’s literally all I did and it was the best part of my life.”
It’s this part of his life that he is recreating at Get Shorty. The space itself has a ’70s gymnasium vibe to it, inspired by Mikey’s own high school gymnasium with wood panelling floors, the smell, the peg boards, a wooden bench seat, the old school punching bag and even a shelf of donated trophies from clients’ glory days, all designed as a communal place for men to escape the outside world – even if just for a bit.
“The space just really allows them to do that,” Mikey says. “You come through and literally all anyone is talking about all day long is sports. And more importantly, once those barriers are broken down, guys then have 30 minutes to just decompress, and that’s the most important thing for me.
“That’s where I think a barber shop is really, really crucial for a community because there is few spaces that men get to just stop and be themselves,” he continues. “You find that after they get the score out, what they did on the weekend, how the surf was, the truth comes out and it’s just 20 minutes of reflection and you find that once they finish, their hair is done, they look amazing, they take a big breathe, their back straightens up and they know what they have to do. They step out and they’re a new guy, and that happens every time.
“I guess beyond everything, that’s what the brand is about; letting men be themselves, building themselves up again.”
Put down the bats and throw away your caps. Get Shorty Barber Shop is located at 81 Lt Malop Street, Geelong and is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, and Saturday from 8am to 2pm
Phone 0424 992 103 to book your appointment.
Written by Talia Rinaldo