Open Barbers is a LGBTQI+ led, accessible, and affordable non-profit hair salon and social space in East London, and it’s at risk of going under. They are celebrating their 10th birthday this year and they need your help to make it into the next decade!
There isn’t anything quite like Open Barbers in London, possibly even in the UK, maybe even the world! A social service where LGBTQI+ people, people of colour, all body shapes and sizes, people on low incomes, people with high anxiety, and disabled people are fully considered, provided for, and treated with kindness and respect! It’s taken ten years to build this social enterprise to a point where it’s really thriving - we can’t lose it now!
After ten years of hard work carefully building up the business, the social enterprise had some reserves to be able to cover immediate business and staffing costs of the pandemic in 2020. A Go Fund Me set up by a client provided a hardship fund for freelance stylists, and a few crisis grants for small businesses have ensured Open Barbers’ survival so far, but now the reserves are really depleting and 2021 is projecting a loss of up to £30,000, and trading at severely reduced capacity, depending on the extent of ongoing COVID restrictions.
The salon shop front
How can you help?
- You can donate to this Crowdfunder, either just giving or claiming one of the wonderful rewards made by the Open Barbers team and supporters.
- Come to the party, organised by Bar Wotever! Celebrate Open Barbers’ 10th birthday in style with amazing performers who all have a connection to the project.
- Visit the website for other ways to donate and support, queer artists, creatives, and makers are donating to our cause in other ways.
- You can become an ongoing Patreon supporter of the home visits and pay it forward scheme for disabled clients and those on low incomes.
3 reasons to donate to Open Barbers!
- In a world grappling with global greed and chaos, we need more not-for-profits and kindness. Open Barbers is a social enterprise hair salon actively welcoming all identities and hair types. As if that wasn’t enough, they offer a brillant ‘pay what you can afford’ pricing model that’s worked for ten years and means everyone can afford the chance to look amazing, however they identify, whatever their income.
- The pandemic has sucked up their reserves during the lockdowns and they are trading at a third of their usual capacity in the restricted tiers system. They can’t go on like that without our help.
- Many of us will have tried to celebrate a lockdown birthday, Open Barbers are no exception. They are celebrating their 10th birthday in March 2021 following a year of stressful closures and restrictions. Let’s make it a good one for them!
Open Barbers 10th birthday logo, designed by Richard from Open Barbers
Who are Open Barbers?
Founded in 2011 out of experiences of homophobia and transphobia in mainstream salons, the team have worked hard to set up a safer space for the hair services that people seek without the rejection, gatekeeping, and hassle! Since 2011 the team has grown to 9 LGBTQI stylists and have a lovely space in Hackney, London that includes free tea & coffee, wifi access, working space, comfy sofas, and a private room for therapy and massage! The neighbours are fantastic, and everyone is welcome to wind down and be looked after in this wheelchair accessible safe haven, and for those who can’t travel, they offer a home visits service too!
There are loads of amazing rewards, (make sure you scroll all the way down this page to see them all) including ones specially made to celebrate their 10th birthday, most of them kindly donated by our amazing team and community.
L-R top: OB Lezbag, print by Scribbles and Ink, Meggie Brown 7", Camp Books print
L-R bottom: Below The Belt collar, necklaces and rings by Hard Wear UK (Seth Corbin)
L-R top: Tarot reading with Shy Charles, handmade bag by Greygory from Open Barbers, A Generous Lover by Lauren John Joseph
L-R bottom: Gluten free brownies from The Butch Baker, handmade card by Greygory from Open Barbers, Hell Yeah Self Care workbook by MJ Barker
Here is why some of them decided to donate:
Amy Pennington, designer of the birthday tea towel, says: "My love for Open Barbers is infinite! When I’m in the shop I can see ppl buzzing off the love & care that Open Barbers has for our queer community. I can't think of a better way to commemorate this than a 10 year anniversary tea towel ....your nan would approve & hopefully it will make the washing up a little less painful"
Brooke Palmieri, founder of Camp Books, and designer of our queer hands print says: “Open Barbers is not just a hub for activisms, it is a sanctuary and place of rest and sweetness and warmth! I wish it many more decades of existence and hope many more queer spaces may open after its beautiful likeness!
L-R top: T4T necklace by Seth Corbin, artworks by Kyle Lee-Crossett, Hair Has No Gender print by Fox Fisher
L-R bottom: Hair Has No Gender t-shirt by Fox Fisher, Sexuality: A Graphic Guide by Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele, Open Barbers t-shirt and badge combo by Amy Pennington
L-R: Sean by Paula Harrowing, Calvin by Brandon Tauszik, Still from Hairoism by Oreet Ashrey. These prints were made as part of CUT Festival in 2017, organised by Jamie Lewis Hadley, which Open Barbers was involved in.
Top: Dom & Ink's work, a portrait from him is one of our rewards!
Bottom: Emma Hayden's work, a portrait from her is also one of our rewards!
Sharing this Crowdfunder
We'd love it if you would share this Crowdfunder with your networks, and to make that as easy as possible, here are some templates and the logo that you can copy and paste:
Twitter: I've pledged my support for @openbarbers 10th Birthday Bounceback Crowdfunder – can you? Check out all the fab rewards and events here: https://www.openbarbers.com/ten
Instagram: @openbarbers are 10 years old! I'm supporting their Birthday Bounceback Crowdfunder to help them survive the pandemic and go on for another decade, can you? Check out all the goodies on offer at www.openbarbers.com/ten
Facebook: Open Barbers are celebrating their 10th birthday this month! Please condiser supporting their Birthday Bounceback Crowdfunder and helping them survive for another decade. Amazing rewards and events on offer throughout March, check it out at www.openbarbers.com/ten
10th birthday logo: