The Cartels Barber Shop: modern style, old-world charm

The Cartels Barber Shop: Run by Jessie Smoothy.
The Cartels Barber Shop is run by Jessie Smoothy.

What do a group of old-school mobsters and The Cartels Barber Shop in Bundaberg have in common? They all have impeccable style.

It's that notion that drove the creation of The Cartels Barber Shop on Bourbong Street, with owner Jess Smoothy at the helm of the new business.

The businesswoman is no stranger to the barber and hairdressing world, having started her career from 15 years of age and travelling the globe to build her skill set.

Last year, Jess took her skills to national brand Milkman Grooming Co to help with the production of their educational videos, where she featured in the clip called Barberette Crushes Beard Fade.

Now, Jess is going out on her own, opening the doors to her new barber shop just last week.

“I always knew this was what I wanted to do,” Jess said.

The Cartels Barber Shop. Video by Morgan Everett

“At 18 I left Australia and did hairdressing and barbering in London and then went on the cruise ships for three years.

“I thought I would then base myself in Bundaberg because it is where I have wanted to settle down.”

Through The Cartels Barber Shop, Jess is bringing her creative flair to the region, providing men with a modern twist to the traditional style of barbering.

“Through history it has been a very male-dominated industry,” she said.

“I wanted to bring in a female's perspective …

“We do modern barbering but we also stick to traditional barbering with the traditional shaves, cut throats and more.”

The Cartels Barber Shop has been designed to resemble a dark and edgy gentlemen's bar from the old days, with black walls, gold fixtures and very suave accessories including a bar cart and photographs of some of history's most suave gangsters lining the walls.

“We wanted it to feel like a gentleman's bar,” Jess said.

“It's a fresh new look for Bundaberg; we have had really positive feedback so far.

“A lot of them are getting photos with the images of the gangsters and they are just loving the feel of it.”

The Cartels Barber Shop giving back to the community

The Cartels Barber Shop: Jess Smoothy has just opened up the barber on Bourbong Street.
The Cartels Barber Shop: Jess Smoothy has just opened up the barber on Bourbong Street.

With the new shop now open, Jess is already on to her next venture which includes helping the teenagers of the Bundaberg community.

“Currently we are in talks with the Salvation Army to start a program which helps disadvantaged teenagers,” she said.

“We will be getting them into the shop and getting the spruced up.

“I think it will boost their confidence and make them feel better about themselves. If we can help them with that, we are happy.”

The Cartels Barber Shop is located at 2/197 Bourbong Street.

To find out more, follow the Facebook page here.