Kirkcaldy Trumps All
There’s a barber shop on Kirkcaldy High Street that consistently wins 5 star reviews from its customers – some of whom travel from Edinburgh as they see it as a cut above the rest. We caught up with the barbershop owner to find out what makes him tick …
Mark Reynolds was born in San Diego, California. He’s been a barber for seventeen years – and his trade has taken him more than 5,000 miles from his home town to where he now plies his craft. And it is a craft.
Mark says: “This is my craft … my trade, my profession. Barbering. I’m not a hairdresser. I’m not a stylist. I’m not an artist. I’m just a barber. And a damn good one.” He has been a barber since he left college. Mark adds: “I’ve always been into style and fashion … and punk rock. I’ve cut my friends’ hair since I was a kid. Back in California, it is mandatory that all barbers go to college to become licensed. So I did that and began working right away.”
Initially, his work took him all over the United States and then to Europe – with stints barbering at conventions in Los Angeles and at runways in Milan during the city’s fashion week.
Mark says: “In 2011, I moved to Dublin on a whim to open up a little barbershop. It was in Temple Bar. I had a great time, met some very interesting people: Dubliners and thousands of different tourists sat in my chair. It remains one of the most interesting places I’ve ever worked.” After three years in Ireland, Mark moved to Manchester. Twelve months later, he was on the road again … following a job offer to take a chair at a barbershop in Edinburgh.
It was in Edinburgh that Mark met Monika, his “soon-to-be wife”. They married – and thought about where to live. The 2016 US elections led them to a decision to stay in the UK – and they chose Kirkcaldy as their home. Mark found the to and fro between his new home and work in Edinburgh “draining” and looked at opportunities to open a barbershop of his own again.
Mark opened ‘Revolution Barbershop‘ this Spring. He says “I’ve been welcomed with open arms” but adds: “I don’t think I’m different or special. It’s all been done before. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I provide an excellent service in an impeccably clean environment – all in an atmosphere of levity and inclusiveness.”
Right now, all the work is done by Mark but he says “I am hiring” adding “I run a tight ship. My signature is on every cut that’s done in my shop regardless of who has done it. That’s why I have a minimum three-year level of experience requirement for any new employees who get behind the chair.”
Mark muses over his career’s achievements. Was cutting hair at the internationally renowned Milan Fashion Week his greatest achievement? “I thought it would be – I thought I’d arrived on the big stage. But I was just cutting hair in a crazy environment of pretentiousness and unneeded stress. I prefer to be in a shop – with a laid-back atmosphere – listening to Johnny Cash.”
And in his barbershop on Kirkcaldy High Street, that’s exactly where he is … a few miles from the ancestral home of his music-hero’s family home. The Cash name can be traced back to the 12th century in Fife. The family’s name is still evident in and around Falkland with the place names Easter Cash, Wester Cash and Cash Mills. Records at Falkland Palace – just a dozen miles north of Mark’s barbershop – show that in 1612, a William Cash sailed with pilgrims from Scotland to a new home in America – in Massachusetts. Just over 400 years later, a pilgrim of the 21st century has journeyed to the Scottish shores. Mark has made his home in Kirkcaldy and, for those visiting the town, he recommends a walk. Not on the line – but along the waterfront to enjoy the town’s location and views across the Forth.
His dedication and attention to detail have won him a reputation that has followed his travels. Check out Revolution on Facebook and you’ll see that every review posted is a five star glowing testimonial …
Take time to discover Mark’s Revolution. On prices? We’ll leave the last words to Mark …