For the first instalment of our new ‘Habitat People’ feature, focussing on the talented people that make our Habitat Community what it is, we caught up with master barber Beau, of Byron Bay Barber Co., to chat Byron, barbering and the Department of Simple Things...
Beau, how long have you been living and working in Byron Bay?
I moved up from Melbourne four years ago and have been working locally ever since. I live up on Fowler’s Lane, just outside of Bangalow. It’s awesome, the first rock concert out of Sydney was based there recently!
You’re based at Mr Simple’s much-loved Department of Simple Things @ Habitat, when did you guys first open the store?
We launched around 6 months ago (November 2017). It’s just me here on the barber side of things. David Fraser owns Mr Simple, which has just celebrated its 10-year anniversary out of Melbourne. This is the brand’s first concept department store for men.
Sounds great! What was the attraction for you and David to open your concept store here at Habitat?
It’s where we are, it’s where we all live. It’s basically in the centre of our worlds up here. We all surf and ride motorbikes, and it was just great to be a part of something new and awesome in Byron.
What visitors can you expect to find at the Dept. of Simple Things?
The beauty of it is that we meet all walks of life here. We get local guys and blue-collar workers who we love, then there’s a few local celebrities. Mr Jason Grant is a client, and Mick Fanning has been in to get his hair cut. We also see plenty of local retirees, actors and artists, yeah...such a broad range of people, it’s just crazy. And it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you do, we treat everyone equally. We’ve got a lot of local regulars and also a lot of tourists, it makes it fun – it mixes it up.
What are your plans or upcoming projects at the store?
We’re running a monthly event called ‘Simple Skills’ at the moment, where we invite a local tradesman or someone with an interesting skillset to come and give workshops at the store. Like Evan, for example (from Salt x Steel, who led the first Simple Skills workshop), he actually made the furniture we’re sitting on – proof he does great work! We basically select things we want to learn about for ourselves, then extend the invite to other people to come and join us and hopefully they get some interest out of it as well. You should come, have some beers, learn a skill, just hang out.
What’s something in store that isn’t offered elsewhere?
We’ve got the Yeti Eskies which are pretty cool.
What’s your insider’s tip for locals or visitors to Byron Bay?
Il Buco – in Bay Lane, it’s an Italian pizza place. It’s number one in Australia on Trip Advisor. It’s insane!
You can find Beau at the Department of Simple Things from Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 5.30pm.
Follow: @byronbaybarberco & @departmentofsimplethings to stay up to date with the store!