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Published: December 10, 2021 | Updated: December 10, 2021

Heady success: Second mobile barber shop hits the road with three more planned in next year

James Gura-Lowe and George Hatch of Grade 92 Barbering. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A second mobile barber shop has taken to the road less than six months after the first was launched to widespread acclaim.

George Hatch, 29, of Christchurch, is at the wheel of the latest vehicle with plans to expand the fleet to five by the end of 2022.

James Gura-Lowe, of Grade 92 Barbering, who came up with the concept with fellow Director Kieran Birch, said: “Our first mobile barber shop is doing amazing business.

“I’m doing up to 80 hair cuts a week and around 70 hours. It’s been crazy.

“People really like the idea of bringing the service to them.

“Getting our second van has come quicker than we expected but we’re now looking at getting a further three vehicles by the end of next year.

“If it wasn’t for the lockdowns we wouldn’t have done it but now it’s clear that this is the way forward.

“You look at every successful company at the moment and it involves taking services directly to the customer.

“We thought why not do the same with a mobile barber shop?”

Both vans have been fitted out as fully functioning mobile barber shops complete with chair, mirrors and even a TV.

Grade 92 Barbering, which has two shops in Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, and Southbourne, invested a five-figure sum in the first van.

The second was bought by George, pictured, who qualified as a hairdresser this year, but operates under agreement with Grade 92 Barbering.

It has also been converted by Milo’s Custom Campers in Hordle while Think Wraps, in Poole, carried out the exterior and signage.

Both vehicles have their power supplied by solar panels on the roof, plus a back-up plug-in, with a diesel fan heater for winter and Dyson air cooler in summer.

As reported on Dorset Biz News, the first van, with James at the wheel, was launched officially on July 19.

George began his new service on December 6 with Upton Bay Care Home at Hamworthy as his first client.

He spent the afternoon offering appointments to each of the male residents with a mix of cuts, styles and shaves.

They were delighted to be visiting the barbershop only metres from their front door.

“It was fantastic,” said resident David after his beard trim.

“I’ve never seen a whole barber shop on wheels before!”

After a series of back-to-back appointments, George said: “It was lovely to chat to the residents and get to know them a bit during each cut.

“They each had a story or two to tell in the chair.”

Mevin Sohorye, pictured left, General Manager of Upton Bay Care Home, which is owned by Barchester Healthcare, said: “A trip to the barbers can be such an important part of a man’s routine.

“Being able to bring that normality back to our gents has been heart-warming.”

George said he planned to concentrate on the corporate market, parking up his van and providing on the spot appointments as with the care home.

He said: “I’ve done a lot of jobs and previously worked in drainage but this is very different.

“I retrained as a hairdresser and have seen how successful James has been with the van and thought I’d like to do that.

“I’ve got an 11-week-old daughter, Mia, and want time to spend with her and my partner, Jade, who’s a beautician.

“I enjoy talking to people, and hearing their stories, and this seems the perfect job for me.”

Grade 92 Mobile covers the BCP area as well as neighbouring towns, such as Wimborne, Ferndown and New Milton, and the New Forest.

More details, including prices and how to book an appointment, can be found at grade92.co.uk