I think by now you know how the men's grooming industry has grown in the past couple of years. With numerous new barbershops, pomade brands, and men's grooming products around, it's not surprising that the culture and community around it is thriving. And because of this, there is now a bigger number of men who value grooming more, while some even find opportunities in the growing trend. The exact reason for the establishment of Noble Pomades, the idea that spurred from the growing market that's spilling over to other places in the Philippines like Pampanga, where the owners are located. The humble success in bazaars and online selling led to the container barbershop concept they have today. From homemade pomades, the Noble team has extended their services to haircuts, grooming and drinks. Quite a big step up, for sure. That's why we're intrigued to know more about this progressive brand, so we've talked to Carlo Castillo, one of the founders and owners, about the idea behind Noble Barbershop & Café.
"we think that if there's one special thing that shows a personality of a man, despite how he dresses and carries himself, it's his haircut."
Interview by Marvin Conanan and photos by Roma Vitug
Who are the founders of Noble Barbers?
The founding partners were Me (Carlo Castillo), Lorenz Rances, Lester Rances, Darren Hizon, and Miguel Evangelista. Our shop started this year with the help of Mikee Yabut, our managing partner, who's handling the nitty-gritty part of the business. We gained followers too when we did pop-up barber services through bazaars both in Manila and Pampanga, but since we really want to bring the culture back then to our own locals here, we've decided to establish a container shop here instead.
What's the inspiration behind Noble Barbers? What made you pursue a business in men's grooming?
Our interest in the field was clearly inspired by the local emerging field in barber and pomades back in 2014, so we started our own pomade by 2015 and selling small scale through the help of our friends - who are doing meet-ups with buyers - within the metro. Actually, I'm more into design and branding, after I left the design studio, Miguel - who was really one of the main follower of the culture - inspired me to start a business with him. My goal was really just to spread good design through packaging, posters, photos, and later on, with the videos and the interiors and details of the shop, but as the time goes, we learned to live by the culture day to day.
What is the story behind the brand name?
Inspired by the movies, Kingsman and Great Gatsby, we've taken the whole concept of nobility and the design of each movie then applied it to our products and packaging. And we really live with these words from Ernest Hemingway saying, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."
Can you share to us a few things about your drinks menu?
We do have non-alcoholic drinks like iced coffee, lemonades, and floats, which we also infuse with vodka and rum as per guest's preference aside from our alcoholic beverages. We source our beans from Kidapawan and have it dark-medium roasted by our friend in Manila, while our lemons come from Baguio. We don't have a trained barista, as we only do and mix everything on our own with the help of our friends, and through watching tutorials from Youtube.
Why is men's grooming important for you guys?
Since we're a barbershop, we think that if there's one special thing that shows a personality of a man, despite how he dresses and carries himself, it's his haircut.
You started with pomades, then a barbershop and cafe this year, what should we expect next?
We're actually planning to build a mall under our name. Haha! Well, seriously, we don't know yet, but gaining a lot of positive feedback from our guests really excites us to build another branch, however, we're still torn between branching out, or making another brand but with a higher target market and foot traffic area. Nevertheless, we'll be letting you know as soon as we know our progress.