This month, we’re chatting to the chaps behind one of the trendiest barbershops in Brum and probably all of those well-groomed beards of Kings Heath – Black Market Barber Company…
Since opening the shop in November, how have your first six months been?
The first sixth months have gone above and beyond our expectations. The shop has hit the ground running and we’ve had so much great feedback and support from both customers and other businesses in the area. As locals ourselves, we’re thrilled to have made our home on York Road, which is renowned for its eclectic culture and independent businesses – we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in Brum!
How long have you been cutting hair? Why did you decide to open your own barber shop?
Between us, we have more than twenty years’ experience. After working for a wide variety of other barbershops and salons, we felt it was time to become our own bosses. We both talked about how great it would be to have an independent shop where we could spend more time getting to know our customers in an environment that reflects us and our approach to cutting hair. Our aim is to make our customers feel at home in our shop and will always go the extra mile to ensure people feel comfortable.
As a new business in the area, why did you choose to settle in Kings Heath?
Kings Heath has such a great community spirit. As locals to the area, we have enjoyed the massive changes over the last few years with the influx of quirky independent shops, bars and markets; Brum Yum Yum and of course the Kings Heath Dining Club where in fact BMBC first started as popup barber shop last summer. This really inspired us to open a shop in Kings Heath and is up there with one of the most enjoyable days of our careers! It was a massive success and we look forward to more of the same this summer.
What is it like being situated on York Road with so many other independent businesses? Why do you like working in Kings Heath?
The street has a great buzz and it’s exciting to not only join the list of great independent businesses but also to be part of a friendly and thriving community. We also appreciate a pint at the Hare & Hounds after a long day on the scissors, not to mention lunch at Cherry Red’s and a jar of sweets from ‘I’ve Got One of Those’ which is a permanent fixture in the shop!
As a traditional barber shop, what techniques do you specialise in?
Our priority is always making our customers feel special and ensuring that they come away with a haircut that they’re proud of – walking out of the shop with a spring in their step. In terms of our services, we offer a broad range of traditional barber techniques from full traditional cut-throat razor shaves, to skin fades, pompadours and restyles. We can even give you a classic short back and sides if you ask nicely!
Both of us come from a background in hairdressing and with our individual styles we have the skill set for any customer that walks through the door.
Personal favourite styles to cut?
The customers reflect the variety of people in the area, ranging through a whole host of different styles and subcultures. It’s hard to choose a favourite look, but we’re particularly enjoying the 90s Britpop revival at the moment.
We love the art deco style of the shop! What sort of atmosphere and vibe can your customers expect?
Thanks a lot – we were keen that our branding and the look and feel of the shop reflected our personalities. You can expect good music, fresh coffee and a laid-back atmosphere. We enjoy giving our clients that extra care and no one will leave feeling rushed. We offer a fun and friendly experience in a cosy living room set up with the option of a game of darts and a brew while you wait.
What sets you apart from other independent barbershops in Brum?
When we decided to open the shop we both wanted to avoid the experience of it feeling like a conveyor belt of customers that were rushed through. It is important to us to spend quality time with our customers, making sure they feel confident that they’re in good hands and want to come and see us again.
We are unique in that we offer both pre-bookable appointments with the click of a button online as well as walk-ins, which has been a great success and already built us a strong base of loyal customers.
What does the year ahead have in store for BMBC?
We are excited to be running ‘Art Market’, a series of collaborations with local artists hosted here at BMBC. Each month, we’ll be featuring the work of a different artist in the shop, with an exhibition launch party on the first Thursday of the month. Artwork will be available to buy, both at the launch party and throughout the month.
We’re also pleased to say that we’ll be involved in more pop up events over the summer, including Kings Heath Dining Club and others – follow us on social media @wearebmbc for announcements.
Where can we find out more about BMBC?
You can head to our website at www.wearebmbc.com where you can book online, or catch us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @wearebmbc. Or just pop into the shop at 12 York Road for a chat and a game of darts!