“The industry is becoming a monster and has picked up so much momentum that I believe its just going to eat itself alive"
So tell us who's the man behind Thy Barber?
My name is Frank Rime and I am the owner and founder of Thy Barber here in East London. I have been in the industry for nearly two decades. Working my way up from being the typical shop assistant sweeping hair at the ripe age of 17. Putting in the hours and dedication to push myself and my career forward to what I have today.
I am very proud to say I am part of some amazing teams, including being a global educator for the clipper brand Wahl. And of course having my own team that help push our own brand and education global too.
When was the shop established? and tell us the ethos behind the brand.
Thy Barber was founded in 2014. We were originally just doing pop up barbershops at any event that would have us. Tattoo shows, Bike Shows, Kustom Kulkture shows, Vintage etc. the list goes on and on. And that’s how we got our name out.
It was in 2015 Thy Barber moved into its first bricks and mortar. Firstly as a concession in a spot called the Bike Shed in Old St. but we outgrew that space very quickly, and so we had to move. Now we are located in a beautiful late 1800s building, which suits us down to the ground.
What is the fascination with all things Americana?
I really don’t know. I Just love it. Some people are born to love sport, some people are born to love math, I was born to love Pickup trucks, motorbikes, country music and of course cutting hair. I love music that tells a story, that throws you into the story of a character. I love the clothing, things that are built to last, not fast fashion. American work wear is super cheap but durable, I have a lot of time for that, the same goes for the old vehicles you know.
Ive travelled a lot of Canada and America. I just feel more at home there than I do anywhere else in the world.
Who or what were your inﬂuences growing up?
I would say my biggest influence has always been my late father. I have very fond memories of him blasting Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis as loud as he could when I was a kid. Watching documentaries on these artists and absorbing the culture at a young age lead to a very quick obsession Americana.
Yes like a lot of us my music tastes moved to Punk and Heavy Metal, but there was always that love for rock n roll and county music at the back somewhere.
As I got older the love for all that stuff came back to life when I moved to London and started seeing the bar culture and music scenes up here. You can be who you want and that acceptance of open expression really helped me just be the person I wanted to be and like the things I like with out giving a fuck what other people thought of it.
Do you think there is correlation between barbers and tattoo artists? especially in todays society.
100% I have always said that they go hand in hand. Although things have changed slightly regarding training. Back when I started they were exactly the same.
You started at the bottom, cleaning shit, answering the phone, you were shit shovelling for at least 6 months, then after that you were finally allowed to pick up the tools. You spent 2 years honing your craft. Then you’re let loose, and you have to learn how to build a client list, your own style, and of course experience. To then possibly going on to having your own spot where you pass on your knowledge to the generation after you.
Id say the two industry’s are the same.
As far going hand in hand, yes. Most Barbers or Hairstylist have tattoos, I think the reason for this is the freedom of expression. They are both forms of art and structure.
In hair we analyse face and head shape, creating a shape that requires balance, strength and also movement. In Tattooing you have to create a piece for your client that is custom, works with the clients body shape, it should be flattering no matter how big or small. Its these small details that set apart different artists, in both hair and tattooing.
But that’s just my opinion
Do you think the Gentlemen's grooming industry is growing larger? Where do you see it heading?
To be honest its been growing too quickly. The big boom about 8 years ago was cool, and i'm ever so grateful to be there when it happened and have the ten years behind me at the time too. But sadly the industry has become so popular that shitty barber schools are popping up every where, giving everyone a qualification who is willing to pay a couple of grand for it. There are shops opening on every corner. The industry is becoming a monster and has picked up so much momentum that I believe its just going to eat itself alive.
I think its great that the industry is so accepting of everyone who enters it, but its a bit like the tattoo boom before it. Everyone wanted to be a tattoo artist, because you could get tattooed, and have a job, sadly I think this is now that.
I only hope it slows down for the industries sake because sadly, the actual “traditional” barbershops are dying out because of this influx. And that’s why my shop is the way it is. Not only is “Americana” its also super traditional in every way.
You're stranded on a desert island what 3 things do you take?
Knife, Gill Net, Ferro Rod
Here at The Hobo Journal we love to travel hence the name, Where is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Yucca Valley, California. I just loved the desert. I loved the peacefulness of it out there, I could see myself selling everything and just buying a little spot out there.
Listening to the coyotes at night was pretty special when I was there, and just being able to see the milky way for the first time because there was no city glow was something I will never forget. If you’re ever travelling to Cali, get your ass out there, even if its just for a weekend. You won’t regret it
More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer