Enterprising 19-year-old opens his second barber shop
- Credit: Dan Cole (www.dancolemedia.com)
Many people aged 19 might still be figuring out exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
But Oli Norman has showed that if you're good enough, you're old enough - by rapidly expanding his barber shop empire to a second store, in addition to his own clothes line.
The teenager was an apprentice at Mr Barbers, in Bury St Edmunds, when he took the bold step to open On Point in the village of Elmswell in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
You would be forgiven for thinking that a barbers in a quiet, rural location in the middle of a pandemic would be something that is hair today, gone tomorrow.
Yet Oli has proved he is a cut above the rest, by growing his idea from a one-man band to a team of hairdressers.
Earlier this year, he had the novel idea of adding a clothing line to his portfolio so he could help people look their best in both dress and hairstyle.
He runs the clothing line alongside his barbers - but is now opening his a second cutters in Smaley Lane, Long Melford, off Hall Street.
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Oli believes targeting more rural locations, where there are fewer services and less competition, is paying dividends.
"The Elmswell one has gone really well and I now have a few people working for me," he said.
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"So far, the demand has been good.
"Because I'm targeting villages rather than towns, it is bringing modern haircuts to villages. There's not a lot of competition at the same time.
"I'm trying to make it more of an experience for customers, so you're not just in and out straight away.
"We've had really good reviews. People say it's just a nice atmosphere in the shop."
Asked about the secret to his success, Oli said: "I took a risk.
"I had a good, decent job where I used to work when I decided to do this in the middle of lockdown.
"Because I'm young, I thought it wasn't the end of the world if it didn't work out. I just went for it."
Many young people are reportedly struggling to progress in their chosen careers after firms cut jobs during the coronavirus crisis, with fears it will create a new "Generation Corona".
But Oli's advice to those dreaming of success is: "Just give it a go. Just go for it."
Oli, whose Long Melford barbers opens tomorrow, is also working with fellow clothing line Moshpitkickz.
The label promotes Oli's On Point clothing brand on its social media pages, while Oli stocks Moshpitkickz items in his store.
To find out more about On Point Barbers or to book appointments, visit the website.