Chesterfield barbers praise 'little family' of loyal customers for returning
After a difficult year of being forced to shut for long periods with no income, a Chesterfield barbers has thanked its ‘little family’ of loyal customers for returning for haircuts as they’ve reopened.
While many people and businesses have been impacted financially due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, The Barber Collective in Falcon Yard found the subsequent lockdowns particularly difficult with limited access to government loans.
The business, which is just over two years old, was set up by friends and colleagues Harry Gough, 25 and Jordan Tansley, 28 in April 2019 after they decided to take the plunge following years of experience in the industry and open up their own barber’s shop.
Jordan, who was only recently self-employed was not eligible for government support when the nation was plunged into lockdown last year, while Harry only received a couple of self-employment grants to tide The Barber Collective over while it was forced to close.
But the 25-year-old has applauded the young business’ loyal customers for continuing to support them over the past year.
"It was difficult", Harry said.
"Like a lot of people, you still had to pay the rent, pay the bills, put the money down - money that we didn't have to stay open.
"The first lockdown was rough, not knowing what was going on and not knowing how long we were going to be locked down for, not knowing where the money was going to come from.
"Everytime we opened between lockdowns, there was just an overwhelming support with everyone coming back, queuing down the street and booking in.
"It was pretty incredible.”
The barbers opened up again on April 12 with a ‘fresh’ look, as the joint owners decided they wanted to refurbish the business with new flooring, paint, furniture and art work to welcome back customers for the first time in months.
Harry added: "We wanted to double down and invest what we had left in ourselves and in our craft and in our shop.
"We wanted to give the people who come here, a more inclusive experience with us and make every aspect of their experience with us, the best we could possibly give them.”
With future plans to expand The Barber Collective and potentially move into a bigger premises in Falcon Yard with more barbers, the 25-year-old thanked the businesses new and loyal clients for returning after the most recent lockdown.
“When we reopened on April 12 and it was absolutely insane”, he said.
"We didn't step away from the chairs, we were doing 12 hour days maybe even longer with no breaks – it was just incredible, even new people then were coming through.
"We were overwhelmed with support from people, just to feel that we were still there and we had the same smiling faces as when we left the last time.
"We feel like we are part of a community where we are now in the yard – it is not a place we want to leave.
"We don't want to change the established atmosphere we already have here, that's what people come back to us for, it is a little family.
"You will be treated as family as soon as you walk through that door, whoever you are.”