A Simple Ideal.
Ruffians began with one concept, which was simply to think of everything from the customer’s point of view. That meant making sure that the quality of our service and our experience was always thoughtfully done, and to the best possible standard. Back in 2012, a trip to a barbers often meant hair in your tea and feeling a bit intimidated – not knowing what to ask for or being properly listened to. Never seeing the same stylist twice. We were determined to do better, and when I found a retail unit in a sunlit corner of Edinburgh’s West End, the adventure that became Ruffians began.
We started with one employee – to whom I am forever grateful – who took a leap of faith in my vision while the shop was still a building site, and my wife and I learnt how to shampoo and give head massages at weekends. Now we have a team of sixty fantastically skilled barbers, we’ve cut over half a million heads of hair and we’ve just won Best UK Barber Shop for the second year running.
I often think that the level of skill in barbering goes unrecognised. Done well, it demands both real talent and hard graft. We put a big emphasis on our education, training new recruits and bringing their knowledge up to our standard, equipping them with the techniques they need. But as an industry it can be horribly under-valued, and I am hugely proud of our team for leading the revolution in modern barbering.