"I thought Australia would be a great place for the brand to expand."
Antoine brought the world’s oldest barbershop to Melbourne, Australia.
At the age of age of 18, Antoine left Lebanon to study marketing in the US. After graduating university, he went on to start multiple companies in Thailand, India and Malaysia.
It was later in life that he developed an interest in barbering and discovered Truefitt & Hill. The UK barbershop holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest barbershop, being first established in 1805.
“I wanted to create my own barbershop but I came across Truefitt & Hill and loved the shop’s history. I thought Australia would be a great place for the brand to expand.
Antoine moved to Melbourne with his wife and daughter to set up Australia’s flagship Truefitt & Hill store. “From Melbourne, I can easily manage the other Truefitt & Hill stores on Australia’s east coast. Another reason why we chose Melbourne was for my daughter Leila to attend Monash University. She is graduating this year and runs our franchising program.”
From the moment you set foot in Antoine’s business you can immediately understand what makes his barbershops special. Customers are treated to a luxury experience in the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District.
“It’s not only international customers that we see. We have many regional customers coming from Bendigo, Ballarat and Albury to spend money on this unique experience when they visit Melbourne.”
The Truefitt & Hill barbershops are just one of four different branches of Antoine’s businesses. Some of his other businesses include jewellery, fragrances, French silverware, gourmet food and hampers. Most recently, Antoine has become the sole distributor for the Australian made Tilley Soap.
“It is extremely easy to start a business in Victoria. Australia makes so much sense being close to Asia”.
Antoine was amazed at the support he received from the Australian government during the pandemic. “We have also been introduced to other companies through Victoria’s Skilled and Business Migration Program. These connections will help us expand.”
“I love the Victorian Government’s migration program. It brings serious investors to the country. I have had the same success in many countries, and I didn’t get permanent residency.”
Antoine was nominated for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188). Find out more about business and investor visas.