Published on 9 October 2020
The owners of an Alcester salon which only opened a few months ago are confident they will be a cut above the rest as the town adjusts after lockdown.
Mother and son Gail and Jamie Glenn, who run JAG Hair Studios on the town's high street, have already seen most of their clients return for haircuts and treatments, and have even picked up some new customers.
Additionally, fellow Alcester hairdresser Alex Banks is renting a chair in the salon for his own clients, and it is hoped more will follow once coronavirus restrictions ease.
Although their business is new, the pair have both been hairdressers in and around Alcester for a long time with different salons and as mobile hairdressers.
They had wanted to open their own business together for two-and-a-half years, and even though the decision to acquire the building was made during lockdown, they knew they could not wait any longer.
Jamie said: "We had probably looked at around eight or nine premises before we decided to move into the building on High Street.
"Even though lockdown was in full swing when we decided to sign the lease, we had waited such a long time to find the right space for us, so we didn't want to wait any longer.
"It was a little bit of a risk at the time as we didn't know when lockdown would be lifted, but we knew if our clients stayed faithful to us once it was, we'd probably be OK.
"Thankfully, our predictions were right. We had an incredibly busy first couple of weeks with plenty of our regular clients immediately coming back for a much-needed haircut.
"New clients have ventured in too, which we're really happy about. Alcester has always been a place where local businesses are supported, so it's great to see that trend being repeated with our salon."
The salon is based in one of Alcester's oldest buildings, dating all the way back to 1509.
Gail and Jamie wanted to find a larger premises with a bit of character instead of settling for a salon with a typical modern look.
The building's old wooden beams have been retained, and the walls have been finished with a relaxing green paint as opposed to the bright white tiles often found in salons.
While customers have been coming back in since JAG Hair Studios opened, Gail and Jamie have had to get used to working with COVID-19 safety equipment and protocols to make sure their clients are safe.
Jamie added: "One thing that was definitely a shock to the system was the much slower pace of working.
"We can only have one client in at a time, and we have to plan our day much more carefully to fit our customers in. In a way, it's made us work a lot smarter than before."
And while Alex is currently renting a chair in the salon, Jamie is hopeful more will want to do the same in the future.
"We wanted JAG Hair Studios to be the one place where Alcester's barbers and hairdressers can work from," Jamie said.
"If the coronavirus situation improves, we're hopeful we can fit more talented stylists into the salon.
"But so far, we're just happy that Alcester has supported us as much as it has since we opened."
Businesses in the district are also being supported by Stratford District Council to promote the safe reopening of the High Streets in response to Covid-19 through the Government's Reopening High Streets Safely Fund which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The project has received £116,036 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575