It’s time for another Sunday cafe and this time I want you to meet the maddest barber around – Ali! Read on to find out why I had to have this special barber be a guest on my blog!
When I moved to Finland 10 years ago, I have seen a great change in the environment and the growth of the capital city Helsinki where I have lived ever since moving over. However, I think that even with the great efforts of the locals, Helsinki is still somewhat stale, slow paced and it takes time for this city to accept some new ideas and concepts. To some extent, this is also a good spot for all those creative souls like Ali to pursue their dreams and offer something that isn’t around “on every corner”. Most of Finnish people like to play it too safe in their life’s choices, so hopefully they’ll learn to loosen up a bit after seeing that no matter what are the circumstances, nothing can stop you on the way to making your dreams come true.
Ali moved to Helsinki 4 years ago and this year has been the best year for him as he got to open up his own barber shop and had it decorated in his own style – the mad barber style. His barber shop is his man cave and a place where all of his passions combine into one. If he’s not super busy ( and he is the busiest and most wanted barber in town, esp. through a reservation system Timma ) you can find him at the shop, drinking his coffee (often from the same take away cup from couple of days ago ) and sketching in his sketch book. I have already written too much about this cool gentleman, so let’s get to know him better via this little q&a!
What’s your name and age?
Ali Hamdan, 30 and still rocking!
How do you like living in Helsinki and do you see yourself staying here for long?
Yes, I like it here. Finland is clean, quiet and organised among other things. When I came here I had a dream and I wasn’t afraid of the risk. I have moved here after living in London for couple of years and I like it. As long as I’m fine here I will stay here. I have no plans yet to move away but I don’t see myself staying here for forever either. I would like to someday expand my business, maybe make it as a concept and sell it to other countries, etc.
Is it important to you at work to use Finnish language or do you get along just fine by using English?
I’m lucky enough that my work speaks for itself and that I get along just fine with knowing
only few Finnish words. So far I haven’t had any issues using only English language.
How did you come to an idea to open Mad Barber shop in Helsinki and what is the future of “Mad Barbers”?
When I have first arrived to Helsinki, I have worked as barber/ hairdresser at different shops. I was renting my own “working chair” from those places. While working at those places I have realised how much was missing on the hairdresser/ barber scene here. I had a clear vision of something different and unique and when I was ready and had enough of returning clients, I have decided to open up my own shop.
I’ve been for a while thinking about turning this shop of mine into a barber-coffee shop, even though already now you can grab some drink from my mini fridge at the shop. 😀
What is your biggest passion and what drives you/ motivates you the most?
My biggest passion is to see people happier and I’m motivated to show them some different world and new ideas through what I do and how I live. I wanna grow old, smile and look back at my life thinking I did it my way.
My other big passions are sketching, motorbikes, watches and photography.