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‘We’ve become a bit famous’ – Barber brothers open outdoor salon in their van

PUBLISHED: 21:29 13 July 2020 | UPDATED: 21:30 13 July 2020

Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

For two Norfolk barbers the return to the salon after lockdown has been a breeze.

Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Jack and Mike Sampson, the brothers behind The Gentleman Barber, have opened their latest venture, an outdoor barbers in front of Ayton House in Wymondham.

In just over a week, the duo, who also offer barbering services for older men who live in care homes and are from Wymondham, have said they have been “inundated” by customers and become “a little bit famous” in the community.

Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Jack Sampson, 31, said: “People have been talking and it has been going crazy over the weekends and when the weather is good. To be honest, we have barely been having a minute’s break and we have both, on average, seen about five to eight customers an hour.”

“People are attracted to the barbers because we are able to offer a waiting room, as we are outside, and, as well us my brother and I wearing full medical PPE, we can also offer it to our most vulnerable clients.”

Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Jack and Mike Sampson are barbering brothers who set up The Gentleman Barber. They are using their kitted out van to be mobile outside barbers. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

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The idea to set up the outdoor salon came from Mike Sampson, 39, after the pair were unable to cut hair in care homes due to coronavirus and wanted to design the “safest possible” experience.

Jack Sampson, who worked in care homes for 12 years and began barbering as a hobby, said: “We were both on furlough as we couldn’t carry on with care homes during the pandemic. My brother recognised that there was still a huge need for a barbering service and thought taking it outside would be perfect for a lot of people who aren’t comfortable to go inside public buildings at the moment.”

The brothers then bought a van, which they transformed into a mobile barber shop and includes a tarpaulin cover to protect customers from the weather.

Mr Sampson said: “We do everything entirely out of the back of the van, which has all our equipment. It might sound stressful battling the element but it has been fun. It’s the first time I’ve ever worked outside and I have enjoyed every second of it.”

Since the barbers opened, Mr Sampson said he has dealt with a lot of “funny” lockdown haircuts.

He said: “There have been lots of blamed partners for bad haircuts. But, despite the world going through a hardship, every customer has had a smile on their face.”


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