Last year, Raylee van Leeuwen noticed a gap in her local market; there were few barber shops that catered for the growing trend of high-end men’s grooming. A true family success story, Schaartje is the perfect example of why support from family and friends is vital for any entrepreneur!

Customer of the Week: Schaartje Barber

Meet our latest Customer of the Week: Schaartje Barber.

Schaartje Barber, pronounced SKAART-YEH, means clippers in Dutch. With a longstanding association with Dutch Heritage, Raylee felt connected to the name.

I love the social, friendly and welcoming nature of Dutch culture, which has strong family values. They’re go-getters, motivated, innovative, driven and loving.

Despite the name being somewhat tricky for your average Kiwi to pronounce, Raylee felt it was right. The unique name, she says, generates a lot of positive conversation and interest. “Once I’ve taught people how to say it, it sticks.”

The drive to have her own business had been brewing for some time, and when everything finally seemed to fall into place last year, she knew it was time launch.

Although Schaartje is currently a one-person operation, the business has been a family-driven project.

Raylee’s son, Jouhs, created the logo and is in charge of the branding, marketing and website development. Jouhs also helped his mum find the premises; an exposed brick and timber space in The Standard Building, which is part of the Heritage Building Trust in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Schaartje | Barber open now @ 201 Princes Street in Dunedin.

A post shared by Schaartje | Barber (@schaartjebarber) on

Raylee’s husband (and handyman) Andre, built the mirror, table-workstation and reception desk from recycled rimu; the perfect furnishings to compliment the restored Heritage Building. The pair share a fantastic sense of humour and are passionate about family and community.

I am incredibly lucky and grateful to have such a loving and supportive family — I wouldn’t be in business without them.

Raylee was even good-humoured enough to let us litter her studio with glitter for our Christmas Glitter Beards video. So we can verify first-hand how hospitable she is!

Customer of the Week: Schaartje Barber

Being a barber is both mentally and spiritually fulfilling for Raylee. You can see her passion for the industry, and her business, as soon as you step foot inside her gorgeous shop.

Raylee finds owning her own business hugely satisfying because it reflects her personality, character and her lifelong dream — “it just feels right,” she says.

Timely helps Raylee use her time wisely. She can organise her daily or weekly chores and events alongside booking clients. And because it’s linked to her mobile, she can spend time outside of the shop marketing her business and spending time with her family, instead of getting locked into the typical business owner grind.

“We’re a little bit different, a little bit fancy, but unashamedly Dunedin.”

Customer of the Week: Schaartje Barber