Week 3 of Interviews with Black owned businesses. Another interview with a Black owned business. Let’s get into it.
Hello SliderCuts can you give us a introduction into who you are and what you do? I’m Mark Maciver, the owner of SliderCuts and SliderCuts Studios. I am a barber, author, speaker, mentor and content creator.
What inspired you to start your business/how long has your business been running for? When I was younger, I never went to the barbershop as my mum would cut me and my brothers’ hair. I always used to see good haircuts on TV and other kids in my school which made me want those styles, so I took matters into my own hands and tried to do it myself. I was around 14 at the time and would practice on myself and my younger cousins. Over time I got better then when I was 18 I started cutting at a barbershop.
I opened my own barbershop, SliderCuts Studios, in October 2018 when I was 33. I had ideas of the way I felt a shop and business should be run, and had a lot of things I wanted to do. I knew the only way I could do these things was by opening my own shop. I felt I could build up a successful business and wanted to be able to provide jobs and opportunites to others.
What are your business values/principles? I belive in feeding the soil, giving back to the community and helping those that come after you. With SliderCuts I aim to create a space for the community, a family-friendly environment where children can come and parents don’t have to worry about them picking up bad language or anything. There’s no swearing or inapparopriate content allowed in my barbershop.
What is your best selling service and why? N/A
What has been the biggest highlight in your business so far? There have been a lot of highlights for me, it’s difficult to name just one. Opening up the shop was a massive achievement. So was winning the UK Black Business Award as well as appearing in different billboard ads and campaigns. I’m grateful for the journey I’ve had.
How have you dealt with setbacks? I think I deal with them quite well because I acknowledge their part in the journey. I see them as hurdles that need to be jumped and know that even now there’s more to come.
How has the pandemic affected your business? The shop was closed for 3 months. I had to take out loans to get through that time but now we’re back to business as usual. We’ve implemented a few changes in line with the government recommendations, but everything is all good. We’re really lucky as I know things have been very difficult for some other businesses.
How do you stay focused and motivated? I think it’s just in my character. I’ve always been quite driven and self-motivated. I focus on the end goal and just try to remember why I’m doing this.
How do you give back to your community? Through jobs and other schemes at the shop. I have a runner scheme where young people can come and help out at the shop, while also learning about barbering. They also get paid! I offer apprenticeships, and also have other training opportunities available. I also make sure I give time where I’m able to to others, whether through interviews or podcasts or sitting on panels, I try to help people at all levels. I even have a scheme where I help people fill in forms and applications they may need help with.
What was the best advice you was given before you started your business? I didn’t really get advice before starting my business, but some great advice I’ve received over the years is “don’t dim your light because it’s shining in other people’s eyes” and “just get it done.”
What advice would you give to people starting a business? I would say don’t expect your business to thrive overnight and, when you can, form a team with people that are good at the things that you are not. And, of course, read my book Shaping Up Culture! I have a lot of business advice in there.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time? SliderCuts Studios will be packed and booked up with clients, and the hair salon and beauty space in the back will be fully operational. I should also be in the process of opening up an academy if I haven’t already opened one.
Social media Links
Shaping up Culture book https://amzn.to/31i5QTL
The next interview with another Black owned business will be coming out next week.
If you would like to be featured in a future interview post, feel free to contact me on my INSTAGRAM page.