There’s a line for the two barber chairs as owner Britt and apprentice Ethan shape and style customers' hair amid a stream of soft laughter and amicable conversation. On the other side of the store co-owner Josh and barista Miranda are happily making coffee and texturing milk, serving a steady flow of young families, salty surfers, and Tugun locals. Open since 2020, Made Barber & Barista has grown into a welcoming and warm part of the Gold Coast community.
The inspiration for opening Made Barber & Barista was for Britt to have a place to do her best work. “Most of the places I’ve worked in I didn’t perfectly fit,” Britt says. “I’m not a typical barber girl. I’m not covered in tattoos! I wanted a space that felt like me.”
A female barber was once unheard of but the revival of barbershops gave Britt the opportunity she needed. “I was always obsessed with hair, when I was a kid, I had those dolls where you could do their hair,” Britt explains. “I finished year 10 and knew I was going to be a hairdresser. I completed my apprenticeship and a move to Sydney gave me a chance to jump into being a barber.”
It was just at the time when barbers were becoming cool again. “Initially people wouldn’t trust me as a barber, which made me really mad,” Britt says. “But it also made me want to do a really good job. It turns out they loved my work and would come back. Nobody questions my skills anymore!” says Britt with a grin.
While Britt works her magic, her partner Josh is across the room, producing outstanding Moonshine coffee on a LM Linea classic and Anthem grinder. Single origins are showcased via Moccamaster batch brews on a rotating basis. With his full beard, check shirt and huge welcoming smile, Josh looks every inch the expert barista.
“From the first sip, we loved the flavour of Moonshine,” says Josh. “Its smoothness, and its versatility to work so well as a black coffee as well as with milk.” Britt and Josh found Moonshine during a week-long search looking for a coffee supplier.
“We dropped into the Moonshine roastery in Federal and connected with Richard Kelly and the crew,” Josh explains. “We loved the family-owned vibe of Moonshine and the dedication to quality they display. The consistency of the coffee week in and week out has been remarkable.”
This sense of connection with people is a strong theme of Britt and Josh’s business. The ethos carries through to the range of merchandise available in store, where the designs and origin of each piece showcase the value of a hand-crafted object.
“One of the ideas behind Made is that everything we do is handmade; from the brews to the food to the skills of Britt and the team in the barber chairs,” Josh says. “We expanded our store to stock things that meet our idea of providing things that are simple, of quality and personal.”
The range of Made tees are fun and eclectic. One of the designs came from a customer who is a talented tattoo apprentice. A recent collaboration with an artist in Indonesia resulted in a kooky golf club-wielding motorbike rider design. You can also pick up sunglasses from Epokhe, a Byron Bay business and jewellery from Sue the Boy in Mullumbimby. Jordy Smith surfboards are available in store, designed by the famous South African surfer and shaped and produced locally by SMTH Shapes.
Josh made the most of his background as a chippy by doing the store’s fit-out and making most of the furniture. The design is minimal, simple and beautiful, with a polished concrete floor and a strong use of timber in the single communal table and slide benches to sit on. For a busy café and barber shop all in one, they keep it remarkably tidy and clutter-free.
Outside seating is comfortable, with long benches and individual seats around small tables allowing both individuals and groups to find a place to gather in the sheltered alcove out front. Located only one block in from the perfect Tugun beach and with plenty of parking in the area, Made is an easy destination to get to and enjoy.
Made Barber & Barista set out to make a genuine connection with locals.
Something tells me they’ve made it.
Made Barber & Barista
417-419 Golden Four Drive, Tugun, QLD
Open 7 days from 6am
Visit www.madebarberandbarista.com for opening times and to book a chair