Mobile barbershop keeps Austin ‘sheared’

Marisa Charpentier

Bearded festivalgoers and Austinites in need of a quick trim found what they needed on the corner of Seventh and Trinity during South By Southwest. They congregated in what appeared to be a food truck, but was actually Rough Cut Trims: a fully functioning barbershop complete with three barber chairs and hairstylists from the Austin area.

Jared Vincent, a Round Rock resident, opened up the shop a week before SXSW despite having no prior experience with hairdressing. He was looking for a unique business idea and happened to find the mobile barbershop trailer for sale online. Over the course of two weeks, he got the licensing and permits necessary to open Rough Cut Trims for the SXSW crowds.

“It was an opportunity that I felt like I had to pursue,” Vincent said. “The stars aligned, and it’s been explosively positive over the last eight or nine days.”

The staff saw a wide variety of customers over the course of the week, including members of the hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia and Desus Nice from MTV2’s Guy Code. Hairstylists at Rough Cut Trims cut hair until 1 or 2 a.m. throughout the week.

While some passersby went to the truck for a simple trim, shampoo, shave or neck massage, others requested unique hair designs. One customer asked for a guitar shaved into his beard.

“Having it on the street is a different experience,” Vincent said. “When they’re sitting in the chair and they’re getting all groomed up, they’re able to see the South By crowds and hear the music. It’s their time to enjoy themselves and be pampered a little bit.”

Vincent said after just four days of business, the team was already thinking about opening up more locations in different cities in the future. He said he hopes to move the truck to an area by Fourth Street and Congress so it can continue operating even after SXSW.

“We want to have the best barbers in Austin,” Vincent said. “We’re not just a trailer truck that cuts hair. We want to be a professional, well-designed place.”