GEMMA ARCHER - THE MAINE BARBER
I grew up here. So did my dad, his parents and their parents. It was super quiet-I thought it was boring in my younger days. But as my partner and I have done a bit of travelling, I'm now really appreciative and love it here. This community is amazing, so supportive. I feel very lucky to be a part of Castlemaine.
I went to Winters Flat Primary School, in grade three I went to St Mary's, then Castlemaine Secondary College. My first job was at Castlemaine News and Lotto, and I left school in year 11 to start my apprenticeship as a hairdresser. My first haircut took an hour and a half, I was so nervous. It was a zero on the back and sides blended into a hand-cut flat top. I was six months into my apprenticeship and had just got my scissors and my boss said, "Oh well, best you start learning," which was a great thing to do- it helped me wiz through trade school.
I worked in Daylesford for a few months, just to get out of town. I wanted to see what it would be like to work where no one knows you and you can walk down the street in your own little world. But I missed Castlemaine's friendly atmosphere, missed not being recognised, missed people saying 'hi' with a friendly smile.
I worked from home after Ieaving Daylesford. One of my mates used to go to The Snip with Emma Murley. He had a mullet and always said that if he ever decided to cut it off, I could do it. I mentioned that I needed a bit of extra work and he put a good word in for me with Emma. When I went to meet Emma she was super busy. I introduced myself and the clients were like, "Well get up and cut our hair so we don't have to wait." Two weeks later I was working at The Snip two days a week which led to four. Emma and her husband Brett were fantastic to work for, then Thea came along and made work complete. I ended up working there for six years and have some really fond memories of the place.
Regrets regarding my own hair: Looking back at photos, I probably shouldn't have gone dark, it was pretty harsh on me. But we've got to do these things, right? Now I have three friends, all hairdressers, who cut my hair and do a wonderful job.I'm sure I'm not as fussy as I used to be.
My partner Chas gave me the push to open our own shop, and has been the backbone and the brains behind all of it. My rock! I was so nervous- and still am some days. But seeing all these familiar faces supporting me has made me feel so much better about this. The community have been absolutely amazing! Everyone has been so positive and so supportive. Thank you!
We offer a relaxing atmosphere for our male clients to get their hair cut and their beards trimmed. We also shave the back of their necks with the cut throat razor- don't worry, not The Man from Iron Bark style!
Plans for the future - put a lot of time and energy into The Maine Barber, I would love to marry my best friend and partner in crime- Chas, travel around Australia and the rest of the world a bit more, be happy, enjoy life and the company around me.
Favourite haunts: There are so many good things to do in the area. We like to go out for dinner to Naam Pla, Phamily Kitchen, New China or The Spotted Cow to name a few. We love the Governer's Cafe at The Old Gaol, the Dot Cafe and Run Rabbit Run. We enjoy seeing local bands, going to the Theatre Royale, the Cri, the Taproom. We also like going for walks with our dog Rocky at Glenluce, checking out the cascades and falls around the area. We love Campbells Creek, the farmers market...this could be an endless list!
For people thinking about moving out here: It's really good. People are friendly and welcoming and will always smile and or say 'hi' in the street. We have great eating places around here- spoiled for choice. And it's peaceful and quiet.