Neatly tucked away in Jamestown, the red interior walls and warm welcoming atmosphere are tell-tale signs as to why this barbershop stands out. Zane Fransman, owner of Fransman Barbershop, has worked in both retail and corporate environments, from clothing stores to information technology (IT), and has various qualifications in IT and tourism – but none of these compare to the satisfaction Zane experiences working at his own barber shop.
Zane reminisces about his high school days, when looking “fresh” was the name of the game and getting a haircut was of the utmost importance. Being a barber began as a side hustle. Zane would return from work and set aside time to prepare his chair and equipment for his first clients of the evening. “That’s when it started becoming my side hustle. Between six and eight o’clock, there was always someone,” adds Zane. He notes that he would carry his barber kit in his back pack, on hand to take out whenever the need arose. He continued working in this way for eight years and in doing so, established himself in Jamestown.
Zane is a perfectionist. Hygiene and cleanliness are very important to him and excellent customer service is paramount. He strives to create a relaxed and comfortable environment where the client “comes to get a haircut, but leaves with tranquillity and wisdom”. He would love to have a massage chair for clients and is working towards achieving that goal.
Zane has worked for big corporate companies, but has always known that life behind a desk is not for him. “I like to move,” he says, noting that he never really felt fulfilled in the jobs he has had previously. He then goes on to discuss the years of growth that led to the barber shop becoming the business it is today, indicating the ‘2016’ engraved under the counter – the year that the barber shop officially opened. He also recalls that his space finally became a shop when he installed a sliding door the year prior.
“I want my clients to be the happiest people on the planet.”
Fransman Barbershop has now spread its wings and from the end of July 2021, Zane is also trading from the newly refurbished CoCreate Hub in central Stellenbosch several days a week. Located in the busy Victoria Street, a mere stone’s throw from the Eikestad Mall, Fransman Barbershop is in the prime position to attract the business of students passing by, as well as residents of central Stellenbosch who might never have known about his premises in Jamestown.
When thinking about the years of building his business and his brand, “not to do everything at once, take your time” and “not to give away too much” are two things he has learned. As his business grows, he notes that the Nedbank-funded Ranyaka Building Business programme is taking him and his business to the next level.
He highlights that the Building Business programme is developing him into the person he needs to be. It is advancing his craft and entrepreneurial skills, and he goes on to say that the programme is “challenging me [Zane] to see how I am able to become a successful business person”. He acknowledges that the people he has been engaging with are helpful; providing workshops, making calls, and setting up meetings on his behalf for the advancement of his business. The amount of care that the programme coordinators go through to check up on him and make everything accessible to him are things for which he is extremely grateful.
Zane believes that small businesses are very important for the youth of the country. He feels that if they can “look up” to someone who has worked hard to achieve success, they will do the same and advance the country’s economy in that way.