Connor Evans and Louis Gormley (26) are two friends who own an independent barbershop in Coventry, UK called the Men’s Grooming Company. As I walk in to the shop, I’m greeted with the waviest vibe. The place is full of urban culture, skateboards on the walls, streetwear stickers around the mirrors and the sound of UK Rap/Hip Hop coming out of the speakers.
Co-founder and barber, Louis Gormley sits down with me and explains why the Men’s Grooming Company is the place to be for that feel-good trim!
Who owns the Men’s Grooming Company?
So, it’s me and Connor, it’s like a family affair kind of thing. We grew up together, went to school together and now we work together. We’ve been working together for about a year or so and decided to do our own little project.
Where did the name ‘Men’s Grooming Company’ come from?
The name was a result of months of deliberation and sort of throwing stuff out there and it getting battered back (haha!). It was a bit of a compromise sort of thing. We knew we wanted something that says what it is.
How long have you been open for?
Almost a year now!
When did you start barbering?
About 2 years ago. I had a very corporate job and I knew I had to change something up and start doing something a bit more free and a bit more creative, that’s when I started looking into barbering. Connor was my way in there – he taught me and brought me through. Connor is currently at college teaching other people, our whole team is homegrown, everyone who works here has been taught by us.
Connor previously has had 2 other shops in town, then he made a transition with me to a joint business.
What makes you different to any other barbers?
For us it’s all about the service. We always knew we had a good product and it would sell, but we were always limited to what we could do with the spaces we had, for example, renting small shops and kiosks.
Barbershops to me are very stale and a little bit dated, in a sense that you go in there, you sit and wait for a guy to remove some of your hair and you 9 times out of 10 times go out unhappy. For us it’s about the service, so we want to deliver these fashion driven haircuts that are cut to the individual. In order to do that, we offer appointments – this allows us to build a relationship with the client.
We offer 45 minutes as a minimum for our appointments, it allows us to give time for a thorough consultation and to properly get to grips with what the client wants.
The vibe in this barbers is nice, does it reflect your personality?
Yes for sure. Everyone comments on the decor and music. We play a lot of UK Rap and we like playing a lot of relaxed hip-hop tunes – people love it!
I can see a wall full of certificates next to you, what are they for?
Well, Connor won the judges choice for British Barbers’ Association Hall of Fame for November 2017. He’s now in the finals for Barber of the Year. We also did a photoshoot a couple of months ago where we have just made it through to the finals for the Modern Barber Awards – Best Photographic Entry.
Have you had any weird haircut requests?
Since we’ve been in here, not so much. I once had a guy come in and ask me if I would shave his back, that was obviously a swift NO. You get asked for all sorts!
If someone sits in the chair and someone really wants something that we know isn’t going to be great for them or isn’t going to benefit them, we will try and talk them out of it (haha!). At the end of the day, what walks out of our doors is a walking advertisement for what we do.
Do you think there is a certain style people go for?
Yes, a lot of people are focused on streetwear. So, a lot of people want really edgy haircuts to match, they want these really deconstructed messy tops and close shaved sides. I think streetwear has a huge influence on the way people wear their hair. Haircuts are an important part of your fashion, it’s there on your head just like the clothes are on your body – it’s an expression of yourself, which is why it’s so important we tailor haircuts to individuals.
Do you enjoy what you do?
I love it man! I wouldn’t change it for the world! I come to work everyday with my friends, I get to make stuff with my hands and I get to make people happy. It’s a super rewarding job. It’s one of those things where you are the master of your own destiny, whatever you put in, you get back.
Do you and Connor ever get sick of each other?
Nah, well, yeah off course we do (haha!) but then boom, you sweep the hair off the floor and it’s gone, it’s done and forgotten about.
Are there any future plans for you guys?
Almost certainly, the Men’s Grooming Company will always be our baby and starting point! We need to get this right before we start anything else. The next thing we’re working on at the moment that will be coming soon is our products, we want to print high end male grooming products to the market – so we’re working on our own products, but also bringing in what we feel are the best products on the market. We would like to start selling stuff online.
You recently hosted an event at the shop, do you have anymore upcoming?
We’ve hosted a couple of events here recently. We were lucky enough to work with an organisation called Great British Barber Bash. So basically, what they do is they tour the country putting on educational shows/seminars and general industry days. We sold tickets to people from salons across the country, they came in and watched the demonstrations in the shop. We had a barber from L.A. who came in to do a demonstration, he’s worked with celebrities and it was really cool!
We’ll be hosting our anniversary event next month and will be putting on a lot more stuff, so stay connected on our socials for more information!
Want to book yourself in for an appointment?
CLICK HERE or call: 024 7663 4912