A lot has happened since our last issue dropped at the beginning of October 2020 – we’ve been in and out of a second national lockdown, tried to get our heads around the tier system and in many cases fought for financial help to ease the economic stress caused by the pandemic. Although we may still have battles ahead, here’s to better days ahead in 2021.
Aside from COVID-19, the industry was dealt a huge blow when we heard of Sam Wall’s passing in late October. We thought it was fitting to commemorate Sam in this issue with a front cover and tribute feature. Not only was he a talented barber, but he was a lovely human too. The descriptions that appear again and again in your tributes speak volumes about him as a person – ‘brother’, ‘passionate’ and ‘gentleman’ to name a few. Turn to p26 to see the impact he made personally and professionally.
It’s fitting then that a lot of our contributors for this issue reflected on feelings not just facts. Alex Burt of Brighton’s Teddy Edwards Cutting Rooms tackled the thorny issue of staff poaching on p30 and reflected that ‘a feeling of community as opposed to connection must be promoted now more than ever.’ Looking further afield we spoke to BarberRules in Athens who proclaimed the ethos of their concept shop was ‘collaboration, not competition’ (p12). And Paul Taylor-Clinch of Blacksails Barbershop in Bath didn’t beat around the bush when he stressed that barbering should be about more than profit: ‘I don’t cut hair for the money, I cut hair for people’ (p32).
And finally congratulations to our Modern Barber Awards winners – you can see their speeches from our virtual awards night on p8. They really do bring to life how talented, optimistic and collaborative this industry is.
Here’s to a fresh new year!
Charlotte Grant-West Editor