The coveted title of Young Entrepreneur of the Year was a hotly contested category at this year’s Grantham Journal Business Awards, but the deserving winner was the creator of Genes Barbershop on Westgate, Ellis Brown.
Ellis spoke to the Journal about his win, his background, and what visitors to the stylish barbershop can expect.
What did it mean to win the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award?
I was delighted to win the award - a lot of hard work has gone into my business so it was nice to receive a pat on the back. I certainly haven’t done it on my own, however, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way.
What’s your background in the industry?
I started my hairdressing career ten years ago and mainly worked in female-based salons. During this period, I completed a nine month Vidal Sassoon course in London. I spent a year travelling, and found myself working in a barbershop in New Zealand. I soon realised that barbering was the path I’d take. On my return to Grantham, I worked in a local barbers for three years before setting up Genes Barbershop.
How did the idea to set up the barbershop come about?
The barbering industry has really taken off in recent years with men taking care of their appearance a lot more. With so many barbershops and salons in Grantham, I wanted to create something that fell in between the two.
I understand that Genes is named after your son - are you intending for the barbershop to be a family business?
If my son, Gene, wants to get into the industry then that’s great. I’ll teach him everything I know. At the end of the day, it is his name above the door.
What can customers expect when they visit Genes?
Customers can expect to meet three professional, polite and highly skilled barbers. When you sit down in the chair, Thomas, Tom or myself will offer a consultation, where we will advise the customer what’s best for his hair. Thirty minutes is usually taken to cut the hair, and afterwards we always offer styling and product advice so the customer can recreate the look at home. All three barbers at Genes Barbershop started in the hairdressing side of the industry and moved into the barbering world. With the two trades combined, this is where we can deliver a unique service
What price range do you offer?
Children’s prices are £6 for those under three, and £8 for under 11s. Adult prices range from £10, £11.50 and £13, with hot towel shaves for £15.
What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs thinking about setting up their own business?
Don’t hesitate, you never know who might steal your idea.
Genes are open Monday to Wednesday 8.30am-6pm, Thursday to Friday 8.30am-7pm, and Saturdays 7am-3pm.
For more information go to www.genesbarbers.com
Call 01476 978212, email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop in for an appointment.