TBM Talks Fades, Blades & Mobile Barbering With TRIM-IT
RIM-IT is the UK’s first app powered mobile barbershop. We caught up with the founding partners Darren and Nana for a little chat.
Like the Uber for haircuts, TRIM-IT is revolutionising the barbering world with mobile haircuts direct to your doorstep. Set up by Darren Tenkorang and Nana Darko the concept is simple, you download the TRIM-IT app, book your appointment and one of their specialist barber vans comes outside your house, or wherever you book it to, and your haircut is ready to go. No more waiting around in busy barbers on Saturday morning for your cut. Currently operating around London, TRIM-IT has future plans to expand all over the UK.
First of all what an incredible idea. When did the light bulb moment happen?
Thank you! When TRIM-IT was established we originally used to aid customers in booking their barber inside the barbershops. However we quickly realised that customers were complaining when the barbers did not deliver what they had promised. This really started to affect our business because people do not blame the drivers when they have a bad experience with Uber they blame Uber the company as a whole. Due to this in December 2017 we decided that we needed to pivot the business so that we could personally provide the service and reliability that our customers deserved. We had previously played around with the idea of a mobile barbershop but we projected that we could make it happen in the next decade or so, however it was dire times so we took a risk. With our last £10k-15k we built our first model and started testing it out and it was a huge success.
Can we expect to see TRIM-IT vans coming further out of London any time soon?
Yes! We are currently working on getting vans all over the country, in London you could go down a road and see approximately 3 barbershops. The further out you go outside of London you will begin to see less barbershops, meaning people have to travel further to receive a haircut. This gives us a lot of scope to grow as there is another angle in which we bring convenience to our customers.
What were you guys both doing before you launched TRIM-IT?
Darren was studying business and management at university and had just come back from a placement. He then worked for paddy powers head office in Dublin. I was studying mechanical engineering and was on my way to achieving a first class.
With social attitudes to services ever changing from hair cuts to retail, where do you see the future for apps and mobile technology going over the next few years?
I believe in the next few years there will be a lot more retail and beauty services becoming more technology integrated. Uber and Deliveroo have paved the way for companies like TRIM-IT to emerge, so hopefully we can pave the way for more businesses to become more convenient by utilising technology.
“I believe people often think it’s easy to start a business, but the level of dedication and tenacity you’ll need to thrive in a startup is insane.”
Nana Darko, TRIM-IT
Have you guys had any famous footballers or celebrities in the TRIM-IT van so far?
We’ve met some celebrities along our journey, ranging from Etta Bond, Sneakbo, Deno, Aj, Kevin Taylor (HOP), Sam Wise (HOP), Bandanna (HOP), Sam Tompkins and Gold Link plus many more all had haircuts in the van helping us gain a few customers to get us started.
Any plans to branch out from just haircuts? Maybe you could resell sneakers and streetwear as well from the van?
TRIM-IT is a lifestyle brand so there’s no limit on the possibilities. We are happy to make any collaborations that will benefit both parties. So anyone interested should make sure to give us a shout because we are ready!
Any advice to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
There’s a famous saying in TRIM-IT which is “startups aren’t glamorous” I believe people often think it’s easy to start a business, but the level of dedication and tenacity you’ll need to thrive in a startup is insane. Be ready for those sleepless nights, wins, losses, ups, downs, yes’ and especially no’s.
How do you think urban culture in general has influenced the business model?
I don’t believe the culture has influenced the business model. I do believe that us primarily operating through an app is because of the culture but our subscription system of paying for a certain number of haircuts a month is due to us iterating and thinking about the future. I believe we are ahead of the game and our time in this aspect. It’s revolutionary and that’s the kind of culture we want to create and use to inspire others.