A BARBER shop in Gosport has proved that opening a business in a recession does not have to be a hair-raising experience.
The Gentry opened its doors in January last year, and since then it has seen business double, been handed a prestigious award, and has become the only barbers in the south to be part of the Virgin Experiences programme.
Co-owner Tracey Campion, who has been in the business for 20 years, said: ‘It was a big step to open up in the recession, but people love it and think it’s brilliant to come in for a shave and haircut.
‘We get lots of men come in to have the whole works.’
The Gentry has been given a platinum award by The Shave Doctor, which recognises exemplary skills and knowledge in giving traditional shaves with a cut-throat razor.
It was through the award that The Gentry is now part of the Virgin Experiences programme.
The shop has branched out by offering fish pedicures, and offers groom packages for weddings – part of the business Tracey is planning to grow.
She added: ‘Now it’s successful, let’s just get bigger and bigger. We work together as a team, and it would be nice to grow it.’
One of the first visitors to the Gregson Avenue shop was Gosport’s then deputy mayor Chris Carter, who was given a traditional men’s wet shave, as featured in The News.
Now Lord Mayor, Mr Carter made a return visit to find out how the business was getting on.
Tracey said: ‘It’s lovely that he’s interested.’
Mr Carter praised the shop for its success when he made his return visit this week.
He told The News: ‘It’s encouraging, as it’s a difficult time for people starting up in business.
‘I really congratulate them on their first year of business.’