Johannesburg – He’s the man behind the hairstyles of some of SA’s favourite rappers.
Coming from humble beginnings, Legends Barber owner Sheldon Tatchell started practicing by cutting his own hair and now his client list includes Riky Rick, Nasty C, Kwesta and Rouge.
Speaking to The Juice, this barber to the stars explained how he went from running a small business in his hometown of Eldorado Park, to owning four barbershops around Gauteng.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
“We did have some stumbling blocks along the way, but if you put your all into something it will make it work,” Sheldon explains as we chat at one of his stores in Florida, Johannesburg.
NOW WE'RE HERE
The environment is relaxed. A snooker table is the first thing that meets your eyes upon arrival. The clients use it to keep entertained while waiting, and every now again the employees take turns challenging each other. Sheldon praises his team for the contribution they have made to his business. At the young age of 28 he employs 24 full-time staff members, and those numbers continue to grow. “What we also do is we have in-house training where we take on guys and train them how to cut hair.”
When it comes to learning the tricks of the trade, Sheldon says it was passion that brought him to where he is today. “I always had a desire to cut hair. Because of the passion I had for it, I used to go out to guys, maybe buy them cold drinks and just watch them cut hair.”
HIS FIRST HIGH-PROFILE CLIENTS
After spending some time practicing what he had learned he then decided to put it to use, offering up his services to local celebs through an Instagram account he started in 2014. Soccer player Kermit Erasmus was the first to respond, allowing Sheldon and his team to give haircuts to the entire Orlando Pirates squad.
(Cassper Nyovest, Masechaba lekalake, Nasty C)
Word of the skilled barber quickly spread, and before he knew it, celebs were calling him up on his cell. “The first rapper we ever cut was Riky Rick. Riky got my number from one of the guys from [Orlando] Pirates. He was like, ‘Please can you come over to my place and cut my hair’, and I was overwhelmed at the time, but eventually it sank in.” He continues to work with Riky today, even styling the rapper’s hair for his latest campaign with Vaseline.
But there’s one thing that ranks higher than gaining popular clients with this businessman – giving back to the community. Sheldon instils the importance of doing for others in his staff, travelling to schools and senior homes to give free haircuts to those in need.
“That’s how we got our name,” he says, explaining that it came from working with the elderly, who he considers the “legends” of his community.
(Photos: Sheldon Tatchell)