Inspiring you on your next move
This month’s inspirational male entrepreneur: Fadi Ford
Q: Tell us a bit about the business
Suave Cuts is a barber business that provides ‘great haircuts at student prices’. I enjoy the atmosphere in barber shops. Like you relax and talk about football. It’s very laid back. Also, doing business isn’t all about the money. If you are going to do it then it has to be something you enjoy. The money does make a difference but it’s more about someone coming in and then walking out looking good and feeling good. Suave Cuts aims to provide a quality service and value for money.
Q: What inspired you to start it?
There weren’t any barbers specifically for afro-carribean hair in Guildford. All of my friends used to go back home to London to get a haircut which was quite expensive because of paying for travel and then the haircut itself. I saw that there was a gap in the market. So I tried cutting one of my friend’s hair and found that I was actually quite good at it. Consequently, I went to my barbers in London and trained with him for a week and then I came back and bought all the equipment and started it up.
Q: Where did the name come from?
My brother and I came up with it. We were trying to think of a word which was a bit gentle but also classic. So Suave Cuts just worked. There was nothing particular behind it
Q: What was the hardest part?
The hardest part was starting and finding a place. I started Suave Cuts in 2013 and at the start it was more of a mobile service. Going to different student halls with all of my equipment. But it was a bit hard transporting all my stuff and setting up and then cleaning up afterwards because it was literally in their rooms. It was very time consuming. There were times in which I’d be leaving campus at 3am.
So finding a place on campus was hard. I went to the Students’ Union and they couldn’t really help me much so I went to the Student Enterprise Centre and they told me that there is a space which used to be called ‘Studio’ and now renamed to ‘Enterprise Studio’. I was the first student to have ever started a barber shop on campus (University of Surrey) so I sat down with two people running the Studio and spoke about the possibilities and finalised the idea of doing dry haircuts and they gave me the space as I needed a fixed location and that was the main obstacle
Q: What was the most rewarding part?
Seeing that you are making people’s lives easier, but also my work as well. A lot of people underestimate the hairdressing industry. It’s kind of an art. Being able to make someone look good brings a nice feeling
Q: How do you see the business developing in the future?
Hopefully it will expand past Surrey. I want to get barbers into different universities on a regular basis. But again, the biggest challenge will be finding a fixed location that is easily accessible to students.
Twitter, Insta, Snapchat: @SuaveCutsUK