“At the Gentlemen’s Cave your Elegant Barbershop,
we don’t have clients, we only have special guests…”
A conversation with Bella Parent, co-owner
Why did you choose Sidney as the location for your business?
“I first learned English in Australia and then moved to Alberta. When I lived in Alberta I would go on motorcycle trips to the island which is how I fell in love with the area. We moved here three years ago and lived in a few different places on Vancouver Island but eventually ended up in Sidney. I had an opportunity to rent a place in Sidney where everything is close by and discovered the people are amazing here; they are very sweet and generous. The people in Sidney really appreciate businesses and I am like that as well. I buy all my clothes here, I go to the restaurants here, and I am overall very present in the community.”
How would you describe your experience in the Sidney community?
“The people are amazing and supportive of one another. It is wonderful being so close to the ocean for all the activities that I love to do including camping, motorcycling and paddle boarding. Everything is close and I don’t have to go far. As a business owner I see a lot of potential in Sidney as it continues to grow.”
What has been the most rewarding aspect of running your business so far?
“Giving happiness. I have clients who don’t like their hair or their beard and think it is impossible to have a nice look. When they give me a chance to prove that this is not true I change their lives. I help people become more confident and happy with themselves. I love to see the smiles on my clients’ faces and how much they appreciate what I do for them.”
If you could give one piece of advice to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
“Be close to the community, it’s the key to success. If the community likes you they do everything for you. In my shop there is a place for business cards from different businesses in the community to encourage shopping locally. Additionally, be close to the different associations that support business owners and attend events in the community such as the market.”
What are the core values of your business?
“Customer service and quality. Clients are the best business cards. They will talk about their experiences to others and suggest where they should go. Good service will talk for you.”
What are your short term and long term goals as a business owner?
“In the long term I want to obtain my masters, teach barbering, and mentor students. In the short term, I would like to continue taking care of my clientele and offering good services. I also plan to consistently update the services we offer at The Gentlemen’s Cave and stay on top of new trends. We plan to do hair replacement services and I would like to share more of my knowledge about this option with our clients. My ultimate goal is for the shop to always be different and advanced while offering excellent services and maintaining a good reputation.”