Successful barbershop run out of garage

Luke cuts Kamal Singh of Hamner hair, Kamal travels four hours for Luke to cut his hair & trim his beard. 0212069842

Aranui barber Luke Koia had won the overall title in a barber championship.

Mr Koia, 33, runs Mo Town Barbers out of his garage. He has won two national barber championships in the last two years, with his most recent title coming at The Battle For Barber City nationals in Dunedin.

Mr Koia brought home the barber fade and hair and beard titles and finished second in the freehand art attack discipline.

The results meant he took out the overall title. Armed with just a pair of scissors and a razor, his talent has allowed him to open his own barber shop in 2017.

MrKoia said his young children Phoenix, 9, and Jeremiah, 2, and wife Nikkita are the driving forces behind his hard work and dedication to his craft.

“I’ve got a mortgage to pay for, I work from home and it’s my own business. That in itself is the biggest motivator.”

His work has also seen him giveback to the community,  most recently teaming up with My Fathers Barbers to raise $3000 for the mosque shooting victims and their families and providing free haircuts for Christchurch’s homeless population in the past.

Mr Koia said he also gets a kick out of adding some style to the lives of community members in the east, where he has lived and worked for nine years.

“I get guys from down the street and my neighbours. They love having a barber so close. They don’t have to go into the city or drive somewhere far away to get a good haircut, it’s right there.”

The former furniture remover said his growing passion for his work means there is no way he would ever consider changing jobs again.

“I’m just going to make this work and I’m making a career out of this thing no matter what.”

With another child on the way, Mr Koia is determined to continue developing as a barber and plans to expand his business.

“I’m just so hungry to keep getting better because there’s nothing else, I don’t have plans to do anything else. This is me until I’m done,” he said.