The craze about men's grooming has been trending for a while now and the Rockabilly style is back! There is a demand for barbers, barbershops, pomades, shaving and beards! It's all the same yet different styles in each category. We had a chance to interview Schorem Haarsnijder En Barbier in the Netherlands about the Barbershop and whats behind their name. Sit back, grab something to drink and enjoy this read.
Nieuwe Binnenweg 113, 3014GH Rotterdam, Netherlands.
- "Shorem" What does this mean? Please can you tell us about the shop name.
Schorem is a bit of wordplay that gets lost in translation. It means “scumbags”, “bad boys” but it’s also the tense form of “I shave him” literally meaning “I shaved him”. The “Haarsnijder en Barbier” meaning “Haircutter and Barber” We are an old-school men-only barbershop specialized in traditional, classic and signature haircuts and hot towel straight razor shaves. We trying to bring back a vanishing craft from a lost era of time.
- Where did the name Scumbags come from?
It’s the literal translation of Schorem and it kinda grew and stuck because we got a lot of English talking fans on Facebook. The whole team we have are guys from the street, some did time, some got in fights, others had other problems, it’s not your average group of guys, hence… Scumbags.
- When did you start your business?
This September, it’s exactly 25 years ago I picked up a clipper and started cutting my mates.
- When did you realize you wanted to be a barber?
Me and my business partner had the idea of opening a traditional barbershop for years but were involved in other businesses, it was kind of a joke to end our days wearing white jackets, talk about football and foxy ladies we used to date and bitch about the good ole days gone by with the other grumpy old farts from the neighborhood that we've been cutting for the last decades. Then one day we decided… “why not do it right now, have some fun?” and it went crazy from there, we just wrote down all the ideas we had on beer coasters, tried to find out all there was to know about the history of the trade and continued our search for antiques and paraphernalia to get things started.
Describe a few steps you took to become a barber.
Well, Leen and me are “old-school” which means we actually went to barber school, now when you want to become a barber in Holland, you’re forced to do a unisex course where you’ll have to do perms and colors as well. We don’t hire hairdressers, we only hire guys from the street or former hairdressers that decided to become barbers, if you work at Schorem, men’s hair is the only thing you’ll be doing. We teach our apprentices from scrap starting with the shaves and then continue with the cuts till they’re able to do all the cuts that are on the posters. We love to see that all the guys are helping each other out, no big ego’s wanting to be the best, no cocky attitudes, these guys are proud of their jobs and want to share their knowledge with their fellow Scumbags.
A true master is he who mastered the art of always being a student… We study the history of barbering trying to find as much information there is out there. I love doing the models for the photo’s we post on the social media and I love teaching the apprentices, it’s their questions that make me think about barbering and in that way we learn and improve. I do think that Leen and I came to a point where we teach ourselves but I’d love to travel more in the future visiting barbershosp around the world to learn more.
- How would you deal with a customer who didn't know what they wanted
We will never do a haircut that’s not going to suit the client though. We made two posters, the “Barbershop Classics” and the “Signature Haircuts” with a total of 22 haircuts and we always say “when it’s not on one of the posters, you’re in the wrong place”. Men don’t want to go through books with models they will never look like with the perfect abs and jaw lines and bleached fringes, that shit’s not the real life, they want to point at the wall, sit down and don’t have to worry about the end result. When guys come to Schorem they KNOW they’re going to leave with a perfect haircut.
This is what we do, we don’t care about fashion or trends. We love the rock ‘n’ roll subcultures and that’s why we are so much into the Pomps and Quiffs. Barbering should always be about style and perfecting haircuts that have proven themselves over time. Haircuts that were worn by icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Dean, Johnny Cash, Fred Astaire. Etc, etc. These guys were and are our (anti) heroes, always in style. Hairdressing is about being into fashion and being creative, barbering is about craftsmanship. Compare it with a carpenter, he will be making chairs and tables all his life, they just get better…
When we started the shop our main clientele were rockabillies, psychobillies, gentlemen, vagabonds, punks, ruffians, freaks, artists, brothers of the smock, rockers, bikers, greasers, scumbags, speedfreax, greasers, pomade pomping bastards, vintage lovers, jazzers, billies, inkslingers, bastards, lowlifes, sick boys… Oh wait… They still are… Haha, well, our door is open to EVERY guy who wants a decent haircut and an hour of chats and laughs among peers. We love to see a knuckle tattooed psycho having a laugh about a 10 year old youngster who reads his first playboy. We have clients travelling for up to 4 or 5 hours, waiting in line for another 5 and leaving the shop with a smile.
- What are some of your accomplishments as a barber?
Really can’t say, we try to treat everybody the same in the shop, we've done some known artists off course but a cut is a cut… I do remember the day that Leen and I found the 120 year mirror case in a shop somewhere in Belgium, that was pretty much the coolest moment ever, all handmade, you find one like this once in a lifetime, we spend all the money we had planned for the shop on this mthrfckr. Hahaha
- Who are some of your favorite barbers?
We admire all the barbers in the world that love their trade and stick to their guns. ‘n’ tools. There’s already too many ego’s in the hairdressing and barbering world. The ones we really admire are the humble ones , which brings me to Liam Finnegan of the Waldorf Barbershop in Dublin, a true master barber and absolute icon. Our job shouldn't be about being the best but about giving your best to your patrons, giving them a perfect cut or shave, they are the ones that make you bring home the bacon and pay the rent.
- What do you believe makes a quality hairstyle, cut and groom?
That’s the whole idea behind craftsmanship… We use techniques that have proven themselves over the years, scissors over comb, fading, tapering, the 14 steps of a straight razor shave, these are all barbering techniques used for decades and need no renewing, they just take years and years of practice.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
To be honest… Leen, Jelle, Corrie and me like to get drunk once in a while and still write down ideas on coasters just like in the beginning of the shop, never change a winning concept ;-) We’ll start blabbering about some lose ideas, get enthusiastic about it and within a few hours we’ll have a pile of ideas, 90% garbage, but the other 10% normally turns out to be cool stuff.
- What advice do you have for aspiring barbers?
It took me 25 years to become a good barber and it’ll take me probably 25 more to become a great barber, a master is he who mastered the art of always being a student… I think you should open your mind to your surrounding and learn everything there is to learn and always stay curious. After 10 years of barbering I thought I had seen it all, after 20 years I realized that I knew nothing 10 years ago, I can only hope that that’s gonna happen to me every 10 years.
- So, women are not allowed in your barbershop. What are the reasons behind women not being allowed in your shop? Has a woman ever tried to enter your salon? If so, what would you do?
We’re a barbershop, we don’t offer services for women, we do men’s cuts and shaves. We offer a woman-free zone where guys can relax among their peers without having to worry about losing their cool under the cape when a foxy lady walks in. No cocky ego’s and attitudes are allowed either by the way.
It happens, but not as much as in the beginning, the women know by now. If one does enter the shop we will throw them out as polite, charming and gentle as possible. The men only policy is a strong one, not even my mother, wife or daughter are allowed in the shop.
- You guys have a DVD that was just released. Can you tell me about this?
It’s a DVD really for other barbers and hairdressers to show them the way we work because we get questions about our haircuts almost every day, people wanting to travel here from all over the world and the shop is just to small for that and we don’t have the time. The DVD will also contain a small documentary about the shop.
- Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Social Media and our Website
Website: Schorem Barbier
Instagram: Schorem Barbier
Photography: Jelle Mollema. All photos can only be used for requested medium reproduction in print or other medium is illegal. Any violation of the above is illegal. For any questions/remarks:
Jelle Mollema Fotografie