The courageous Leeds barbers that opened during a pandemic

Arkade Barbers, LeedsArkade Barbers, Leeds.

By India Rose

There are some new boys on the block, and they have the drive of champions. 

Since the beginning of March 2020, most of us haven’t been doing as well as we could have been.

The pandemic has caused a number of issues for many across the world, but Arkade barbers have not let it push them back one bit. 

Arkade barbers were set to open in March earlier this year but after the world went into lockdown, they were forced to push their opening back until July 2020. 

Although things had begun to calm down by July, it was still the middle of a pandemic as we would later find out, yet the opening of Arkade could not have gone any smoother. 

Arkade Barbers, Leeds.
Arkade Barbers, Leeds.

‘The ball was rolling long before Covid-19, but we didn’t let it stop us’ says Ainsley Walton, Brand Ambassador of Arkade barbers. 

The contemporary style barbers has only just opened in Queens Arcade, Leeds and it’s first few months have been exciting. 

‘We’re moving away from traditional barber shops. We want to be relaxed, but at the same time professional’ said Ainsley. 

Although they began throughout a pandemic, they have managed to ‘inspire confidence’ throughout ensuring that clients ‘felt safe’ when entering the shop. 

Arkade not only have a contemporary style but are also up to date with the current best marketing techniques. 

‘When we’ve looked at other shops, everyone has a social media presence, but for us, we are lucky enough that Harris (the owner) owns a social media company. They work hand in hand with myself, providing daily content to go on Instagram. Not only are we promoting our appointments, we are also showing the great work we do in Arkade’. 

He continued, ‘We want clients to know that we are continuously developing our skill set as well as continuously developing ways to stay safe’. 

Arkade also keep themselves up to date with the latest events, such as black history month.

‘When black history month came around, we posted a lot as it is something that is very close to us. We are a very diverse shop, we hear many stories on a day to day basis and we feel it is important to share that with our clients as well’. 

Arkade hosted an ‘afro barber training day’ to celebrate black history month. 

‘We want a nice diverse range of haircuts and not to blast out just one style, I think that’s one thing that really works for us, many people compliment the fact that everyone is so welcome here’ says Ainsley. 

Arkade opened their doors to the public on July 4th, 2020 and had a lot to prepare for.

‘Compromise has never been a thing for us, which is why we have pulled through and succeeded as a business, we are reeking the benefits of it now’.

‘Even our décor was done to the highest of standards, we had a Venetian plaster board done three times over as it wasn’t to the high standard we wanted.’ 

Ainsley continues, ‘we seek out the best of the best, this comes down to everything, including the barbers we have chosen.’ 

‘We want our message to appear organically instead of trying to press it, and I have absolute confidence in everyone in this team.’ 

Arkade Barbers, Queens Arcade, Leeds.
Arkade Barbers, Leeds.

Due to a tier 3 lockdown coming into place this Thursday, Arkade will have to close their doors until December 2nd

‘We are anticipating for it to be a December 2nd return, but obviously these things cannot be helped. At the moment, we have plans to use block heads at home, which is a fake head of hair, to keep educating and to keep us instilled in our work. I think it’s important as you go into these lockdowns to realise the opportunities, here at Arkade we will use our time wisely’.

About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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