Person Behind The Place: Noor Kiswani
November 16, 2021 - by Sandy Vo
Person Behind The Place:
Co-Owner | Uppercuts Barbershop
Noor Kiswani and his brother MJ Kiswani came from a long line of barbers, gaining years of expertise from their father and grandfather. Born and raised in Bellevue, the Kiswani brothers opened Uppercuts Barbershop last month, bringing distinct generational skills and experiences to their hometown.
The concept for the salon came after Noor traveled to Australia, where he discovered a men’s hair product called Uppercut, containing the highest quality ingredients for hair. Noor and MJ took inspiration from the product, sharing the same mission of high-quality services and a welcoming atmosphere for all. Get to know more about Noor’s favorite places around Downtown and why his family history makes Uppercuts unique.
Can you describe the atmosphere at Uppercuts Barbershop?
Uppercuts has a homely atmosphere. We’re a nice, vibrant place where everybody's welcomed - both walk-ins and by appointment. Bellevue has been our home since we were born, and home is always the best place to be. We try to recreate that in our shop. It’s just a happy place with nice music, nice vibes and very lovely people. We try our best to keep everyone happy, and we're very excited to continue being a part of the Bellevue community.
What do you enjoy about being a barber?
I get to meet a lot of lovely people and make them look the way they envision themselves. It's great to see people smile and leave with a great attitude. To some people, hair makes you or breaks you and it's very important that everybody feels satisfied with their image because they carry it wherever they go. It's always important to look and feel fresh, that's something that we get to give here at Uppercuts Barbershop.
What makes Uppercuts unique from other barbershops around town?
We have the experience from our father and what his father taught him, mixing new school and old school skills. My father was a man who wanted to ensure his kids had the knowledge of being a barber and I’m very proud to have learned these skills. We know how to use different types of barber tools and our experience allows us to service different styles from classic haircuts to new style taper and fades. That’s something a lot of new barbers can’t do today; it gives us a unique stance where we can deal with any type of hair out there.
What services and unique products do you offer?
We provide so many different types of services like beard shaves, brow cleanup, hair wash, and more. We also offer a men’s hair product from Australia called Uppercut, where our name inspiration comes from. It’s a very good product with the least amount of chemicals and it's suitable for most types of hair. We want to provide the best material and quality to our customers. Another part of the Uppercuts Barbershop experience is supporting other local businesses around us. While you're getting your hair cut or waiting in our lobby, we have a QR code that allows you to order food and drinks from our neighbor nextdoor, the Fresh Juice Shop. They serve smoothies and snacks like baklava, and they bring it straight over to you. It’s just another thing we can do to support others.
What is your vision for Uppercuts Barbershop since opening last month?
Our big plan is to have the Bellevue community come in and feel like they're at home, along with providing job opportunities for people in Bellevue. We want to give the best of the best to the people who deserve it. We believe the people and residents of Bellevue deserve exactly that.
What do you love about working in Downtown Bellevue?
We love working downtown because even though Bellevue has changed so much through the years, the city still maintains the warm neighborhood feel. Everyone here loves supporting local businesses and trying new things.
What are your favorite places to dine?
We love to support many Bellevue businesses by dining in at Earls Kitchen + Bar, 520 Bar & Grill, Fern Thai on Main, Tem Sib Thai Reimagined, and Cactus. We also enjoy going to Phở Ever.
Any hidden gems you'd like to share?
A great hidden gem is Istanbul Cuisine. They have the best pide and they’re a great place to stop in for a quick bite.
Follow Uppercuts Barbershop on Instagram to book an appointment!
Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.