Montreal’s Maison Privée barbershops have a reputation for being some of the coolest places in the city to get your hair cut. Co-founder Oliver Kult discovered a passion for cutting hair while travelling across North America as a tour manager for bands in the heavy metal scene: “It was always hard for me and the bands to get haircuts,” he remembers. “One day, on our way to a show in Seattle, we bought a clipper at Flying J and cut each other’s hair. From that moment on, I realized I wasn’t so bad at it and that it was actually pretty cool.”
Oliver opened Maison Privée last year after deciding that he wanted to work for himself. He called his partners, Leo, Chris and Alex, to pitch the idea of opening their own spot. It quickly became a solid plan; after working for two months on branding and team building, they debuted their first shop. Now, they have two locations: one in Montreal’s Old Town in Vieux Port and another in Place Ville Marie.
Finding the right space was key to the business plan. The team wanted high ceilings, white walls and lots of crocodile leather inside. The goal was to combine “the class of a castle with a touch of modern hip-hop barbershop vibe,” notes Oliver. “There is nothing else like it and that’s why we are so proud of it.”
Despite the hipster vibe, Maison Privée’s two — soon to be three — locations provide a warm reception for customers. “Everyone is welcome at Maison Privée. All our salons are based in key locations, where a lot of businessmen are working and living,” says Oliver. “We’re really lucky to have such a wide range of clientele. We meet amazing people every day in our chairs.”
Oliver first encountered Square back in his touring days when lots of bands used it for merchandise payments. He always knew that if he had a business one day, Square would be his first choice. Maison Privée now uses iPad and Square Point of Sale for customer payments. “Clients know Square, so they feel secure swiping their credit cards. It’s also super-easy for them to add tips for their barber with a percentage option or custom amount,” says Oliver. He likes the way Square Dashboard helps him manage and track item sales. “Square makes it easy to keep my inventory efficient,” he adds.
The company’s soon-to-open third location on the city’s South Shore is providing exciting new opportunities and challenges for the team. “It is our first location situated in an outdoor mall and we are building it like kings used to build their castles — using nothing but the best,” says Oliver. Overseeing the construction while cutting hair full time hasn’t been easy, but he’s confident that it will be their best location so far. “We are always trying to improve the concept and there’s no limits to what Maison Privée can become,” he adds.