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Barrie Blogs Flashback Part Two: Expanding the Brand

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Leicester felt like the natural next step. An opportunity came up in the form of a beautiful Victorian building, 12 King St, on the edge of picturesque New Walk. King Street was a half a million pound project in 2002. I wanted the property so badly but I was also so frightened of it being the wrong decision! I’d wake up sweating in my bed thinking “What will I do if it all goes wrong?”.

I thought about selling my home to get some money out of the house and buying a cheap apartment in Leicester to get the property at King Street. It was a tough decision but I that’s what I did! We took a risk and moved. Just like Anstey, no one knew us in Leicester city centre either – the path and the journey from this point has not been an easy one.

Since that period of time 12 years ago we’ve made a big noise, and we are now the number one premium hair dressing group in Leicestershire today. I often sit and think about how far we’ve come and smile when I think back to those moments of being jolted awake at 3 in the morning in fear of something going wrong.

Opening Barrie Stephen at David Lloyd

Let’s hear it for David Lloyd! Opening there in 2006 was the least of my stresses. They approached me – and it was a very quick decision. I didn’t ever want to be in a health and fitness environment but they brought us in – we did the research so we knew it was going to be successful.

I can’t believe it was 2009 when the Ashby team started and we haven’t looked back since! The risks and the investment are all still there today and don’t get me wrong, we’re not coasting every day; we need to stay committed and work hard. We also need to think of new ways to keep ourselves in the number one slot. That’s by never being complacent, never taking things for granted….and always moving the business forward.

Let me tell you something: Barrie Stephen is a man. It’s a brand. And it’s a name people associate with high quality hairdressing. But when people come up to me in the street, or stop me in the salons or friends meet me…they don’t talk about me, or the brand or the name…they talk their experience and how much they love their hair and the quality of the service they receive. That means they’re talking about my team, they are the business!

I surround myself by people who inspire me. Everybody has someone out there that’s special to them, be it friend or family member that make us who we are. A person who challenges us, cheers us on, congratulates us and who consoles us when it goes pear-shaped.

I’ve listened to my supporters but I’ve also listened to my gut feeling and I still do that every day because it has served me well. It’s what I call my “Inner Sat Nav”!

Here’s me at King Street when it first opened!

barrie king street