Telford barber Wayne hitting road as man with the van
An enterprising Telford father-of-three is switching his barber shop onto wheels ready for lockdown easing.
Fresh Look Mobile Barber Van owner Wayne Williams, who lives in Donnington, was about to hit the road with his new business venture when the pandemic struck.
Instead of becoming disheartened he applied to Telford & Wrekin Council for a government business £1,000 grant to ensure it gets on the road from July 4.
The former proprietor, of Wayne's Barber Shop, in Wellington's Church Street, explains that he gave up that business due to becoming a single dad and found he had to make lifestyle changes.
"I had the shop for four years, but I decided to to sell it when my children's mom became unwell and they moved in with me.
"The problem was that they ended up being in the shop watching me work me and couldn't enjoy their own hobbies.
"I did some research and came across someone else online who had set up a mobile barbers in the back of a van and I thought 'eureka' that's what I need to do. I'd already got my clients and I was trying to offer them a service in their homes after the shop closed last August, but that wasn't convenient for everyone.
"With my van I can pull up at their gate and they can jump in get their shaves and hair cuts and pop back into their house.
"I got the van and my friend was in the middle of kitting it out with the units and seating when lockdown came. Then I got the council grant which covered the cost of that and now I'm good to go.
"This suits me down to the ground, and fits in with the kids routine. I can now fit my bookings round their school times which will give them a much better quality of living.
"I'm the first barber in the Telford community to do it. I'm really proud of myself for what I've achieved.
"During lockdown I also completed my barbers' qualification online as well as getting my van ready. I've got the personal protection gear including masks and visors.
"I'm looking forward to being able to start trading again on July 4. It can't come soon enough. I'm fully booked up."
Wayne grew up in Birmingham and worked as a welder at Telford's GKN Sankey plant for many years.
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"I moved to Telford more than 20 years ago because my brothers were living here and I followed them," he said.
"I fell in love with the place so I stayed. I have had some difficult times, but I think we all have greatness within us. It's there you just have to find it when things get tough and not give up. Life's not always going to be easy.
"I'm hoping to expand the business in future by attracting an investor. There is a big demand for mobile services," he added.