SH: Tell us a little about Birds Barbershop.
BB: In 2006, childhood friends Michael Portman and Jayson Rapaport found themselves living in Austin, TX, with nowhere to get an affordable, high-quality haircut. Together, they created Birds Barbershop, a salon for men, women and kids that took out all the fuss, and added free Shiner beer to the experience. An addiction to old school arcade games developed.
Since opening a decade ago, Birds Barbershop has been named six consecutive times to ELLE Magazine’s list of the 100 best salons in America and by the Austin Chronicle as Best Haircut every year since opening. Today, Birds Barbershop serves upwards of 20,000 Austinites each month and employs more than 150 people in eight locations across Texas.
SH: How did you connect with The Settlement Home?
BB: We were doing some spring cleaning and wanted to find a worthy charity for our items. After posting a query on our local Zilker listserv, a neighbor recommended we connect with The Settlement Home. Word spread among our office about all the great work they do and our relationship with the organization organically bloomed.
SH: Describe your role as a partner organization with The Home.
BB: We send a handwritten birthday card with a free haircut card and other goodies to residents at The Home. This is a small way we are able to give back and lift the spirits of those who are facing a difficult time. We believe if you look good it truly helps you feel better inside.
SH: Why is this important to you?
BB: Birds wouldn’t be the company it is today without the incredible support of the Austin community, so we always look for ways we can give back. In addition to The Settlement Home, we support a wide number of charities throughout Austin. It feels good to give back.