David has actually been cutting hair since the age of eighteen. He admits that in England, men-only barbershops used to have quite a dodgy reputation. ‘You wouldn’t just walk-in and chance it’ he says. That said, David has made a real niche for himself in Birmingham, by offering both old-fashioned wet shaves, and a good modern haircut.
One thing that has really worked in his favour is the fact high-street chains really didn’t know how to do mens grooming. He realised there was a market for someone who specialises in a neater cut, done carefully and reliably. With Shepherds, he’s taken everything he always loved about the traditional barbershop, and added a modern twist.
‘All our staff are local’ – he says, ‘and the talent-base in Birmingham is really strong.’ It’s clear, on a heady Friday lunchtime, that the team at Shepherds put on their waistcoats with pride every day, and It’s a joy to watch them meticulously cut, wash and shave as the sunlight turns into artificial light, and the musical tempo and atmosphere become more lively.
When David walked into a local barbershop to buy grooming products he was overwhelmed by choice and underwhelmed by the packaging. So it was that he created Shepherds grooming products, a mens grooming range, with the help of a team of researchers and experts in the UK. Made with high-quality materials and natural extracts, Shepherds offers four product ranges:
- Hair Washing
- Hair Styling
‘Many barbershops and salons offer grooming products now’ – he says, ‘but we really wanted to make our own, to compliment the services we give, and to leverage our brand.’
The design of Shepherds packaging by top London agency The Council means its little white pots, tubes and bottles are fit to adorn guest bathrooms, office drawers and gym-bags.
‘I wanted to shake up the market by offering something pared-back and premium when everything else was so saturated and ‘in your face’ – Says David.