A Vision - Barbering, But Not As You Know It
In December 2018, using my lifetime savings, I launched The Barbery, a small barbershop dedicated to organic hair and scalp health.
Based in Southwark, South East London, my vision was to create a contemporary high-end barbers, using biodynamic organic products with strong sustainability credentials. I created a space where not only did we deliver excellent treatments but also where we could slow a client’s heart rate, so that they departed much more relaxed than when they arrived.
For the past 24 months I have worked ceaselessly (including too many sleepless nights) to establish and grow the business into what it is today. I am proud of what we have achieved so far. Ongoing client feedback and reviews (see Google Business reviews) speak for themselves and whilst we remain small, I believe we punch above our weight.
At the point of the first lockdown, The Barbery was only 14 months old. Without large cash reserves to draw from, we accessed essential financial support (in the form of a Government grant) and a business loan to assist with our rent and then, in July, to make ourselves COVID-safe in order to encourage clients to return.
Given our average appointment numbers were down 48% post-lockdown, I am pleased that we have survived the past eight months, thankfully, with no known COVID-19 cases reported.
Survival, however, would not have been possible without that funding and some really challenging cost-cutting changes, including saying goodbye to some colleagues and reducing the number of days we opened, which severely impacted my self-employed team’s earnings.
The announcement of the second lockdown was another blow and has halted the small signs of recovery The Barbery saw from July. The Government’s ever-changing advice and conflicting policy impacts public confidence and makes it incredibly difficult for service-related businesses to plan their strategy for re-opening. Our resilience is wearing very thin.
In this extremely difficult situation, I am trying to raise enough funds to keep our doors open; which means, pay our (non-discounted) rent and continue our marketing efforts for another six months whilst we strive to treat returning clients and procure new ones.
This fresh funding is for my young team, all carefully selected for their skill, experience and passion. They have contributed immensely to my vision; I want to keep them in the jobs they love and give The Barbery a fighting chance to recover and eventually thrive.
According to a recent client survey, there is plenty of appetite for additional wellness-related products and services. I have the drive, excitement and dedicated team to deliver these in future but we cannot do so unless we remain open.
We are a valuable addition to our small Southwark business community and having a commercial unit on Webber Street stand empty would be a terrible shame.
Crowdfunder and The Mayor of London are offering this platform to allow small businesses to raise funds by pre-selling treatments and experiences for cash, based on a trusted promise to redeem these at a later date. Please participate.
Thank you for your support.
Founder and Manager of The Barbery