New skateboarding-themed vegan-friendly Community Barbers shop launches in South Shields aimed at tackling 'lad culture' and including everyone
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David Garrick, 35, said his first visit to a barbershop was a daunting experience, with a very male-dominated atmosphere.
That’s something he wanted to tackle with his new venture, welcoming everyone from all walks of life regardless of gender identity or sexuality, and removing the lad culture he says he has found in many ‘traditional’ barbershops.
David said his new barbershop, Community Barbers in Westoe Road, South Shields, allows anyone – male, female, or non-binary to go for a short back and sides or skin fade without feeling judged or turned away because of their identity.
“It can be quite daunting going somewhere new for haircut and I want people to feel welcome here and that they are part of a community,” he said.
"To me it doesn’t matter who they are or their background I’m happy to cut their hair how they want it.”
David worked for at a call centre in Newcastle for nine years and said he was miserable and looking for a career change.
While still working full-time David said he was encouraged by his partner, who was training as a dog groomer, to take up a barbering course to see where it would lead him.
He took a barbering course at South Tyneside College and said the idea for opening his own business had been in the pipeline for about five years.
When the premises in Westoe Road became available, David said he knew the time was right to make his dream a reality.
He said: “I’m so glad I took the plunge and went into barbering. I wanted a career I loved doing and was accountable for.
"I love walking in the shop every morning knowing this is mine and I’m doing something I enjoy.”
The shop has its own modern twist, featuring skateboarding decor – including a chair made out of skateboards.
He uses certified vegan-and-cruelty free products, and offers a Wed-TENS-Day special where any service pre-booked will only cost £10.