Help us launch a new space led by queer and trans hairdressers and open to all! In summer 2015, Open Barbers lost our venue to run our affordable hairdressing project open to all genders and sexualities. Throughout autumn we searched frantically for an accessible and affordable space, but in London this has felt almost impossible to find. We are delighted to announce that after many long days and nights, the search is over, and we have found the perfect place. It’s accessible, it’s spacious and it’s affordable! But it needs a lot of work. We need to raise £25,000. It sounds ambitious, but if all of our followers on social media just gave £5, we would hit the target! Our new space will be open 7 days a week, and in a time where so many LGBTQ friendly spaces are closing down, this space will not only provide affordable social space for haircuts, tea, and fanzines, but will boost our capacity to increase our services and host other social entrepreneurs.
What do we need the money for? The total we need to raise is £25,000, which is 75% of the total cost of our refurbishment. We have received quotes from builders, plasterers, decorators, electricians and plumbers, and we have roughly categorised their estimations below: - £16,500 to build an accessible toilet, a private room for haircuts and other holistic uses, and to resurface and decorate the entire space. - £9,100 upfront legal fees and leasing costs - £7,500 new furnishings for the space to increase our salon services and socialising area. A rent free period from the Landlord and investment of additional funds into the refurbishment will make up the remaining 25%
What rewards are we offering? Of course, the main reward is supporting the existence of a new hair salon and social space, open to all, and designed for the comfort and well-being of queer, trans and non-binary folks! But it’s also nice to get something more personal too, so these are the kinds of rewards we can offer thanks to the generosity of our clients and supporters:- Chances to meet the amazing, queer and pleasant danger that is Kate Bornstein! - Experiences! – Nails, make up tutorials, drumming lessons, driving lessons, Jamology, dance classes, a personal training session- Creative objects! – badges, stickers, CD’s, t-shirts, books, your own cat as a tattoo, exclusive editions from Jeremy Deller.Prefer to donate in cash? You can contribute to our Crowdfunder bucket at the salon when you come for a haircut and take a badge away with you as a reward. Rudy Loewe T-Shirt design, £30 (Colours may vary)
Pictured above: 3 examples of Jeremy Deller's unique edition of 5, 'Untitled' featuring neolithic arrowheads that were used in the Venice Biennale British Pavilion, 2013. £500 each, exact rewards will be decided at the end of the Crowdfunder.Who are Open Barbers? Open Barbers is a hairdressing social enterprise welcoming people of any gender, sexuality, hair type and hair length. The co-Directors are Felix Lane, Greygory Vass and we are joined by part-time stylists Richard Houguez and Solomon. We started as a pop up back in 2011, in response to the difficulties we and others have faced getting a respectful haircut that is congruent with our identities. Our pricing policy is sliding scale which means it is not only gender neutral but also fair and within the income means of each client. Demand for our project has grown so much that in 2013 we went full time and started renting a small room within another hair salon. We now have over 2000 clients, 6000 social media followers, we offer over 75 appointments a week, we are 100% fully booked every day and our waiting list is often over 2 weeks long. We clearly need to expand in every way!What makes Open Barbers unique?“Sitting in the red chair at Open Barbers hair salon, I am looking in the mirror at my stylist Greygory and myself in amazement. I finally did it; my hair finally matches my new Imam Butch Boi look for 2015…It can be a battle sometimes to come out as a Muslim lesbian in the mainstream lesbian community.” – Rose Saddique, DIVA magazine, March 2015.“From the booking process to walking out on to the street with my fresh, dapper hair, the experience was an absolute pleasure…. I walked out of Open Barbers not only loving my haircut but also feeling a bit of a buzz about the place, how it’s run, how it came about, and eager to return.” - Charlie, client “I really like how they describe the certain effects of certain haircutting processes without ascribing gender to things, so in a way that opens up the possibilities of how you can choose to express yourself through hair.” – Sophie, client
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