The rise of COVID19 makes gathering in public places a risky prospect, one that continues to lead to out of the box ideas when it comes to new ways of doing business.
From the risk of COVID-19 infection to the time it takes to book an appointment, and then waiting your turn for a haircut, a Bay Area man said he was spurred to launch a new type of barber service.
"The booking process was kind of not hassle-free, I had to travel to the barbershop and I had to wait over an hour for my haircut, and the whole time I knew that COVID was here," said Toure Owen.
Owned founded Trimmed, a mobile barbershop service that he’s marketing to barbers who want to take their work on the road.
Customers would be able to book an appointment for mobile service through an application on a smartphone.
"Our long-term vision is to create an Uber for haircuts type platform that really transforms the way their hair and beauty services delivered around the country," Owen said about the business.
Owens, a UC Berkeley Graduate and former Google employee had the tech know-how but needed someone familiar with the barber industry.
So, he partnered with Charles Blades, owner of Charles Blades Barber Spa in Oakland, who used his expertise to convert a Sprinter van into a mobile barbershop, complete with all the tools you would find in a brick and mortar location.
Blades says this business is changing and this is a way for barbers to change along with.
“We’re providing a service for the barbers that want to do something more and to stay relevant,” Blades said. “It's a real comfortable intimate space but it’s safe.”
The business partners tout the safety of using the mobile service van, which only seats one customer at a time, is properly ventilated, and stocked with hand sanitizer.
Both also tout the safety saying the vans only seat one customer at a time, are properly ventilated, stocked with hand sanitizer, and customized to code.
While mobile hairstyling may not be a new idea, Owen insists his service will be different in that barbers will obtain an outfitted mobile barbershop from Trimmed, and marketing of the product would also be done through the company, allowing barbers to focus on the work as independent contractors.
It is for that reason that the business idea has drawn the interest of Sederic Salinas.
The South Bay resident recently returned to the Bay Area after spending months in Orlando where he provided barbering servicers to NBA players in the infamous NBA bubble facility.
“I like to do my own thing and this is the perfect way for me to do that and I and then I can pull up to wherever to get the job done conveniently,” said Salinas.