Cut above the rest? Teenager to open first barbershop business aged just 18
- Credit: Archant
Starting a new business might be a hair-raising experience for anyone - but Oli Norman is opening his first barbershop in Elmswell at just 18 years old.
However, the former Thurston Community College pupil hopes getting his scissors at the ready to cut people’s unruly hair after lockdown will mean he is a cut above the rest.
After leaving school, Oli enrolled on an apprenticeship at Mr Barbers, in Bury St Edmunds, alongside a course at West Suffolk College - before venturing out into the business world on his own.
He realised Elmswell, his home village, would make a great location for his own barbers while he was walking his dog during lockdown.
He said: “I had no idea I wanted to be a barber.
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“It all started about three years ago, when I asked for a sweeping job in Mr Barbers.
“From then, I have loved every moment of the whole industry, from doing competitions and stage work at salon international.
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“Through working at Mr Barbers, it has given me the confidence to make this step and I will be forever grateful to them.
“I have always said I would love to manage and own a shop, but I never thought it would happen quite so soon.”
His shop, On Point Barbers, is above Wells Stitched Embroidery - an embroidery and printing company that has been trading for 15 years in Station Road.
On Point has already been kitted out with all the necessary equipment and transformed into a classy and comfortable barbershop - with the help of Oli’s father and his furniture restoring company, Steve Norman Furniture Restorers Ltd.
With lots of overdue haircuts from the coronavirus lockdown, there will certainly be plenty to keep the two barbers at the shop busy.
Oli said: “My family, friends and Allen from Wells Stitched Embroidery have been so supportive and helpful during this time. My dad’s company has done an amazing job fitting out the units.
“Lockdown has given me time to transform the shop and make it safe and prepare for the government guidelines which are being put in place. We have now just got to wait for them to say when we can open.”