At first glance, Umbrella’s, the combined barbers and cocktail bar located in the newly renovated Marbella Arena in the heart of Nueva Andalucia, seems something of a strange idea.
But if there is one thing that serial successful entrepreneur and tireless charity organiser Kara Jaye Caradas, the owner of Umbrellas, can do, is spot a gap in the market.
“The concept is that this is a man’s place to come and hang out, get a haircut, a beard trim, a tradition wet shave or treatment, and afterwards relax and watch sport with a coffee or cocktail. You don’t have to go to a hairdresser and be in and out in a matter of minutes. I wanted to create a space where men could feel comfortable and wind down during the day. And as the afternoon ends and the evening begins, the girlfriends and wives can join them and the party begins”.
Kara scouted for two talented professionals from London, Mark Malota and Antonio Toro, to help her realise that vision. Originally from Hungary and a promising footballer, Mark went to London to join a football academy, but it was not a happy experience. Mark didn’t speak much English (which he now does perfectly) and wanted to move back. “My Mum said ‘No! Stay and learn English’” Mark smiles “So I became a hairdresser as I thought that it was quite a chatty job and that it would improve my English!”
Not only did his English improve, but also so did his reputation as a hairdresser. Mark stayed in London for ten years and worked in a number of high profile hairdressers and events, including the prestigious London Fashion Week.
Antonio Toro joins Mark at Umbrellas. Born in Sardinia, Antonio moved to the UK and trained at the famous Toni and Guy academy in Central London. He spent three years with them, as well as working on fashion and photo shoots, as well as winning Best Barber of the Year.
As well as years of experience, including being highly trained in long hair for men, Mark and Antonio both bring an in-depth knowledge of the current trends and styles to Marbella. “Men are taking more care over their appearance; especially with the rise of the Selfie and Instagram” they say “Men want to look good, especially in Marbella, and we wanted to open as a barber because we are passionate about men’s hair”.
Image is important in Marbella, and though men may spend money on the sharpest fashions and hours in the gym and on the sunbed to get that Marbella body, until now the barber options have been relatively limited. “Before men used to go to a hairdressers and a barber’s was more of a cheap option”, explains Mark “but we wanted to create a setting where men could relax, have meetings and catch up on their favourite sports. You can also have food delivered from several of the local restaurants”
Umbrellas will also be able to offer complementary treatments. “We are also going to be offering treatments for men – Botox, B12 injections, fillers etc.”, explains Kara “The way that our staff have been trained to do it is so that it the change is a gradual one and comes into effect over weeks. Rather than walking out looking completely different than when you came in”.
When the barbers shuts, the fun begins. Umbrellas has a live DJ from Thursday to Sunday, with live events and parties planed as summer approaches. If the opening party is anything to go by, they are going to be some of the hottest events of the summer, especially as the Marbella Arena has a number of big names already scheduled to perform, with more acts to be announced”.
“Antonio literally arrived in Marbella on the night of the opening party,” grins Mark. “We worked at London Fashion Week, which was a non-stop, crazy, wild, and tiring experience, so that got us perfectly prepared for Marbella!”
For more information, check out https://umbrellasmarbella.com/