How This 25-Year-Old Started His Own Uber-Like Barber Business

How This 25-Year-Old Started His Own Uber-Like Barber Business


[Narrator] Meet Darren Tenkorang. He’s an entrepreneur from London who founded and runs Trim-It. Trim-It is a mobile barbershop service that allows customers
to get a fresh haircut right outside their doorstep. And it’s all booked through an app. Darren now has a solid team
of four full-time employees and five vans. But his journey to where he is today wasn’t an easy one. Tenkorang: The way Trim-It started, or the way it came about, is that I actually entered a business competition. But the reason why I entered
the business competition is because I did a placement
working in the corporate sector. I was working in insurance. I loved it for the first six months. But then after the first
six months, I realized that I was just really struggling, and the reason why I was
struggling is because I’m dyslexic. So out of fear, I said to
myself, I have to actually control my destiny and create a business. I didn’t know what business it would be. But I’ve had many instances
going to the barbershop and I’ve had to wait hours. And there’s one particular time where Arsenal conceded a goal,
the barbers went crazy, kind of flicked my fade up a little bit, and I just had a terrible experience. And I was thinking to myself,
how can I refine this? Not only do I have to — not only do I not want to have to to wait, but I wanted to make sure that the experience is special
and, like, really tailored to the customer. And I thought maybe putting a barbershop in the back of a van. And at the time it
sounded daft, but now that it’s actually come into life,
like, it makes so much sense. So it’s an idea that makes no sense but complete sense all at the same time. [Narrator] After winning £10,000 from the business competition,
Darren then went on to start Trim-It and assemble
his first mobile van. But creating a barbershop
in the back of a transit van is no easy endeavor, especially if you have no
building experience prior. So how did Darren go
about putting together his first mobile barbershop? Tenkorang: So what I did
is I got two builders that my friends and family knew. I’d actually sit them in my house. So we created the first
mobile barbershop in my house. We’d watch YouTube videos of
how to convert camper vans. – Look how organized it is. This champion. Tenkorang: And everything was
just a complete experiment. And lucky the first van
turned out to be quite OK. But, like, we’ve had issues
when it comes to the electric. We’ve had issues when
it comes to making sure that it’s structurally sound,
so it’s, like, movement-proof. And we’ve had to just really
do a trial-and-error thing. But we’ve gotten to the
stage where we know how to now convert a van
into a mobile barbershop. [Narrator] Trim-It works via an app, where customers sign up and then find one of Trim-It’s barbers
assigned to your local area. The service operates under
a subscription model, where customers get a certain amount of haircuts dependent
on their subscription. Once signed up, you pick your time slot and then wait for the barber
to arrive at your door. We followed Trim-It’s head barber, Kris, for a day on the job. Kris Robinson: When I
first heard about Trim-It, I wasn’t sure what it was. And then when I got introduced to it, then I got explained further that they’re building a barbershop in a van, which I thought was crazy.
Like, it’s out of this world. So then I thought, you know
what, this sounds interesting. And then the more and
more I got to meet Darren, they really started to just show me what it’s really about, and I
just, like, fell in love with the idea as well. I had previously worked
in a barbershop before I joined Trim-It, for about a month. And I’d been in a barbershop
around other barbers, around more noise. Like,
there’s a lot more distractions. And for me personally,
I work best by myself. So with the van and,
like, me being alone with a client works just perfectly for me. I can build a relationship with my client. When I know I’m, like, in
control of my environment, I work better in that aspect, yeah. [Narrator] And what
does a Trim-It customer have to say about the service? – You know what it is,
like, I like the fact that I can put in for the trim and it kind of comes to where I live. So yeah, that makes it a lot easier. And also it’s just no waiting time. When you go to a barber,
you’re not certain that you’re going to get
trimmed straightaway. So you’re wasting time sitting
down in the shop like that. This is kind of, like, a
good work-around for that. Yeah, it fits here in my life pretty well. It’s really good, man, A-star service. And an A-star trim at the end, really. Best trim I’ve ever had, still. Tenkorang: So I definitely
think that Trim-It and the mobile experience,
especially in the back of a van, is definitely
the future of barbering. Not only are we providing
convenience and a slick service, but you still get that
intimacy with your barber. I don’t think it’s actually going to destroy barbering or destroy
the high-street barber, because some people just
like to go to the barbershop. But it will definitely be
a very good alternative, and that’s what I wanted to
be able to capitalize on. At the moment, we have
five mobile barbershops, and you might think I’m
crazy, but I want 500. And we’re going to be
raising some more investment. But right now, we just want to make sure that our operation is slick
and that we’re just keeping to our goals, which is
to be a convenient, safe, and amazing experience for our customers.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. I am on the clock here in Melrose Park Illinois USA watching this video…. Great way to make legal money………I will start a business like this..

  2. Can I do my home course as barber by presenting my work on my movie at home for my exams as in USA on line ,as I have credits for some units need to get cutting credit soon. ,I prefer to to get online courses from USA Sanfrancisco to complete my cutting unit I did some studies in the nineties in Wigan at Norman Philip in 1992 )and 1993 With this school I did work on my family friends also. Proved on cutting men's hair Thanks Steve ,Can I do cutting in my home. With models to get my course work on kind approved to the USA Steve on 00353)62)83676) or 00453)874592316) I would like the cutting cert completed by early 2021 year for my relaxation centre I'm working at with my own business would prefer in online barbers study or UK ,thanks Steve

  3. Incredible. I just wished I did that years ago when it crossed my mind. I'll probably buy a van and do it. Congratulations to these young black men.

  4. That’s pretty cool man!! But it’s weird how some people are getting political in the comments lol

  5. Excellent! I’ve been doing mobile cuts for 2 years now and I’m so happy and inspired to see this! Congrats and much success

  6. Amazing business idea and I can see this blow up massively but need better barbers. I used this service once as I wasn’t able to go to my normal barbar but unfortunately my fade was not sharp nor smooth. Shapeup was a little off. The barbar i had with trim it deffo needs a more experience. Practice makes perfect but little bit of advice never cheat on your barbar or you’d be wearing a hat for daaaysss like i had too.

  7. Unsanitary!! Where is the sink and the bathrooms?? I guess you cannot get your hair washed or take a piss??Wack for the USA but I guess OK for Europe…

  8. This is amazing! I am a barber and had a similar idea like this. So glad someone did something like this and it's working out. Makes me want to follow my idea.

  9. Black British Africans are always business minded and excel academically ,it’s part of the African culture.Congratulations 🎉

  10. I love black entrepreneurs
    I totally like the new trend of barbering.. one question, I live in Vegas , how is the AC unit set up or does the van run until the cut is done…

  11. No wayyyyyyyyy this is GENIUSSSSSSS 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  12. Dope str8 up give dude mad props…very convenient way of getting your hair clip up..some barber shops be full an all of that with over booking..but see this very convenient this not even being lazy about it doe…whoever gave this thumbs down y’all some haters doe

  13. A young successful black man who is self made and successful. Tell me where the racism is? If you want to make it in this country you can, regardless of your skin color or cultural background

  14. This shit is super dope. I honestly gave this idea to my barber friend in North Carolina 8 years ago… mobile anything is idea.

  15. This is an awesome idea. I'm a woman who has a short hair cut and going to the barbershop and being the only woman at times is intimidating. I wish the barbershop had booths for privacy.

  16. Worst buisness to get into, no future benefits or medical nor weekends off! Pay is super low and costs about a year in school witch is required by state you live but on average 1200hrs. So please stay out of barbering young friends. Again being a barber does not pay! And you will always be broke!

  17. Amazing Idea and good luck to the man. BUT>>>>> part of a good "barbers" is the VIBE etc .Take "Champs" for instance . And this Van has its own "Vibe" . I think this man has stepped up . I wish him well .

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