Mark Maciver - AKA Slidercuts
Mark Maciver is a barber who also goes by the name of SliderCuts, based in Holloway, North London. With over a decade’s worth of experience (and a pretty epic client list including Anthony Joshua and Stormzy) Mark prides his business on providing customers with a truly unique barbershop experience - and the freshest trims in London.
I gave Mark a call to chat about how his journey began, his recent campaign with Facebook, how he gives back to the community and his advice for young entrepreneurs.
Hi Mark! So let’s go from the beginning - can you tell us a bit about how and when SliderCuts got started?
When I was about 13 or 14 I started cutting hair, doing my own and my cousins, and then when I was a bit older I started working in a barber shop on a sort of unofficial internship/apprenticeship (I can’t remember which one of those is the paid or unpaid one - this one was NOT paid!). I did it for free but after a while my regular customers started paying me and then I would give a percentage back to the shop, so it worked out well in the end.
The slogan on your website is ‘It’s more than a haircut’ - what makes a trip to SliderCuts more than just a haircut?
The reason why I say ‘it’s more than a haircut' is because I see it as like a therapy or counselling session - you come and sit in the chair and you can talk about whatever’s going on with you - good, bad, happy, sad - anything! It’s a relationship that my clients build with me - I really get to know them, and it’s also a friendship and a networking system. So many people come in and I’ve had jobs through connecting with people here - so it’s a community centre type of vibe too.
I was reading through your client list - it's a pretty impressive list including musicians, sportsmen and tv personalities (Reggie Yates, Tinie Tempah and Lebron James to name a few). You must have heard some interesting stories from people in your chair - what’s the craziest story you’ve heard and who told it?!
Ha - I couldn’t say - even if I was to say anything I could never tell you who said it! The thing about being in the chair, and I guess why I have some of these big clients is because they trust me and trust that the things that I hear and see will stay with me. Like a therapist or a councillor.
Fair enough - I had to ask! I remember seeing you featured on a recent Facebook campaign called ‘Let’s Get To Work’, championing small businesses and Facebook's tools for business - how did you get involved with that?
Facebook contacted me because they thought i’d be good for the campaign as someone who represents creativity and good professionalism - I decided to do it because I’m a user of Facebook, and I genuinely believe it’s a good platform to promote yourself and your business. I’m an advocate for people to be able to maximise resources that are around you like Facebook. I honestly didn’t think it was going to be as big as it was, so when the campaign came out I was surprised - i didn’t really grasp the magnitude of how big it was until it came out.
It must have been a huge compliment to work with one of the biggest brands on earth!
Definitely - it was validation for me, and told me that what I’ve been doing and what I’ve stuck by has been noticed and has been good.
And you’re a brand in your own right - so when it comes to recommendations and tips for your customers what are the most important things you consider?
With anything I recommend it’s about whether it works or not - not everything will work for every person because everyone’s skin has different needs. It could be as simple as something like ingrowing hairs - maybe you’d need to try a different routine, for example only shaving once a week to avoid it, or making sure you’re shaving with the grain to avoid bumps.
Your business offers Work Experience and Apprenticeships for young people wanting to get experience in your industry - is the idea of passing your skills on to the community something which motivates you?
Yeah definitely, I have knowledge and skills so I feel like I want to pass it down so that others can do the same thing and more. I see it as my contribution and a way to tip the scales a bit.
As someone who learned their trade from scratch, what have the past 14 years taught you about the world of business, and what would be your advice to young entrepreneurs looking to build their own empire?
It sounds a bit cliched but for me i would say “stay a student of your craft’ - always be learning. Focus on the product and the service you’re giving out. Especially in this day and age it’s very easy to go on social media and make yourself look good, but when it comes down to actually providing a service - work on your craft so that when people come to you, you can back up whatever they’ve seen out there about you.
I spent years and years trying to be a better barber and fortunately the publicity came through that, but it meant that I could back up the image that people had of me.
And finally, how do you want your clients to feel once they've had the SliderCuts experience?
Happiness, confident and rejuvenated!
You can book yourself in for a trim at www.slidercuts.com, follow Mark on Instagram or check out his barbershop tutorials on YouTube