There has been a cultural resurgence when it comes to men’s grooming in recent years, and whilst other retail industries are moving their stores into the digital revolution, barbering remains exempt from becoming e-commerce. Customers may be able to book appointments online but ultimately, they cannot get a haircut on the web.
Barbering is a renaissance that shows no signs of slowing down, so when an opportunity arose to open Ultimate Grooming in Eaglescliffe, Anthony grabbed onto it with both hands.
Although a lucrative industry, too many barbershops cannot meet the demand and the customers are paying the price, metaphorically speaking. As it stands, customers are receiving a conveyor belt service of ‘one in, one out’, a ten-minute hair cut with no attributes of true barbering. Anthony wanted to open a shop tailored to the individual needs of each customer, offering patience, communication and passion. Ultimately, offering his customers a renowned experience, a quality that cannot be compromised.
The salon opened two and half years ago with the aim of taking the trade by storm. The team wear three-piece suits and the shop itself is designed with the 1920s in mind. Anthony started out with two chairs, which quickly became three, then five. Now, he has seven working chairs, six days a week. He renovated the shop himself, including sleeping in his motorhome in the shop carpark over a bank holiday weekend to make sure the work was done in time for opening hours.
The salon offers different techniques of cutting, styling, shaving, cut-throat and hot towel shaves. Men are notoriously timid about browsing for hair care products. Therefore, they offer a range of fuss-free ‘does what it says on the tin’ hair care, styling and shaving products for practical, daily use at home. The salon also retail its own-brand aftershave, face cleaning packs and beard treatment packs.
Ultimate Grooming has recently rolled out a new service offering bespoke wedding packages to groomsmen. This includes being chauffeured from their home to the salon, receiving treatments, then being chauffeured to the wedding venue. The salon’s fleet of cars include: Mercedes, Range Rover and two Bentley Continentals.
These innovative extras have seen Ultimate Grooming win ‘Barbershop of the Year’ and ‘Barber of the Year’ for two consecutive years at the British Hair and Beauty Awards 2018 & 2019. The salon also went on to win Entrepreneur of the Year and Apprentice of the Year for both years.
Ultimate Grooming collaborated with Middlesbrough College, Northern Skills Group and Cleveland Police, offering opportunities to boost the local economy. They also sponsor local activities and raise money for charities including Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity.
Ultimate Grooming has recently introduced a pop-up barbershop facility whereby a barber on-the -go can attend homes, further afield wedding venues and residential care homes for elderly customers.