Meet Mark Maciver, the barber of Anthony Joshua and Stormzy
With celebrity clients including Anthony Joshua and Stormzy, Mark Maciver might have the most impressive client list in the UK. We spoke to the CEO and Founder of East-London barbershop Slider Cuts, who gave us an insight into the importance of barbershop culture and his ongoing partnership with Mastercard.
What is your background and what were your reasons for forming Slider Cuts?
At the age of 18, I started my career in barbering and have worked there for about 16 years whilst learning the trade, before I opened up my own shop. I have always noticed people’s haircuts and the way they styled it. When I was younger, we didn’t have the money to go to the barbershop, so I would get my haircut at home by my mum, which wasn’t great! But this encouraged me to try and see if I could do my own cuts.
I enjoyed it, and the more I did it the better I became, which made people start to ask me to cut their hair, which eventually after many years led to me starting my own barbershop, SliderCuts, which I wanted to become more than just a barbershop, but a place for the community to come together as well.
Has having the opportunity to speak to so many people every day been beneficial for your own business? Has it given you any business ideas?
When people get their hair done, they often share stories with me. I’ve witnessed people share issues they often can’t talk about to the people closest to them, yet in the chair, they feel comfortable enough to discuss it with their barber. One that comes up regularly is money, especially over the last year or so. We all struggle at times in our lives, so I’m happy I can help in some way. Even if it’s just to listen.
I always consider different ways I can help or encourage the next generation of barbers, so yes, I do think it’s given me ideas. We already run different apprenticeships for young people wanting to get into the industry and I run lessons about how to start your own business, how to use Instagram to grow your client list etc. and this all comes from people asking me questions.
Is celebrity endorsement helpful for businesses? Has it helped you and if so, in what ways?
I’m really grateful to have such a great client list, but for me, the one thing that will bring in repeat customers is being a good barber and that’s what I always focus on first and foremost.
I don’t refer to myself as a celebrity barber, but I did get known more and more for cutting popular faces and honestly, this has all been down to hard work and word of mouth.
The process to get to where I am today was a slow one, where I focused on my craft and always took a lot of pride and respect in my work and the SliderCuts business. If you know me, you know that every hour of every day is full of me doing something – I’m always busy. I graft, and it was this that helped me to grow and improve as a barber gradually. Having a big client list isn’t something I take for granted, but I do believe hard work does pay off eventually, you just need to apply the right mindset to your craft.
What is the importance of barbershop culture?
Barbershop culture is quite like hairdressers in that people feel comfortable and want to open up when they are in the barbershop space. It’s the place you can go to even when you’re not getting a haircut and feel listened to and understood. Having a fresh trim that can change your whole outlook on the world, not only do you feel more confident but sometimes that relationship is sacred.
How is your partnership with Mastercard helping your local community?
I think it’s important for the community to know what options are available to them, which is what Mastercard is doing with their “Nobody in the Dark” campaign that targets the digitally and financially excluded.
For me, I’ve had to learn a lot of things along the way when it comes to understanding finance, which is why when I found out about Mastercard’s initiative, which targets people who are unable to access tools and services that could help them manage their finances particularly during the pandemic, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
What effect did lockdown have on Slider Cuts? What about your customers?
Lockdown was hard for all barbers; we were one of the worst-hit industries. With all the measures in place, it was difficult to have that social environment, but I think now things are nearly back to normal and we’ve managed to bounce back.
The barbershop is known to be the place you can go to even when you’re not getting a haircut. This is when it’s at its best.
What are your plans for the future? Any more partnerships with big businesses lined up?
At the moment I’m taking each day as it comes, I am always open to working with businesses that align with my values so this was a perfect fit. As for the future partnerships, it’s worth checking my Instagram @slidercuts as I’ll always post about it on there.
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