This month’s edition of Salon Design Of The Month features Ruffians, an innovative barbering destination that focuses on combining excellent customer service with a memorable barbering experience. Here we chat to the team at Ruffians to find out more about their brand and where they see the future of men’s grooming heading.
Tell us more about how Ruffians started?
Ruffians was started five years ago by Andrew Cannon. It was born out of being bored and annoyed by the limited options for men’s hair out there. Back in 2011/12 was when the idea for Ruffians was conceived. You could only really go to a high-end salon or a local cheap barbers, neither of which appealed to me. I wanted to create a place for the modern man to feel at home in, a men’s hairdresser’s which was for the customer, not the hairdresser – somewhere you could relax, have a drink, get proper personalised advice, develop a relationship with your barber. It didn’t exist before, not for me anyway!
How do Ruffians stand out from their competitors?
Ruffians is a brand that truly represents our customer. We stand for guaranteed quality, outstanding service, with every detail crafted from the customer perspective. Our aim is to create an atmosphere of integrity, friendliness, vibrancy, innovation, independence and a relaxing environment.
With a focus on high-quality haircuts, beard trims and cut throat shaves, we are dedicated to creating an enjoyable and relaxing customer experience. Our teams of barbers and front of house staff are handpicked and carefully trained to guarantee you the best possible service.
How did you decide upon the aesthetic of the salon? What inspired you?
Our Shoreditch salon is the newest in our adventure, built upon all the lessons learnt from our customers over the last 5 years. Everything from the location, design, finer details and the service menu has been built alongside our customers, ensuring an experience that is a cut above the rest. A visit to your hairdresser is meant to be fun and that is a recurring theme for our Shoreditch salon.
Shoreditch has a rich and deep history: from Roman roads, to famous churches (“when I grew rich, say the bells of Shoreditch”), to Shakespearean theatre before it was cool, Shoreditch has often been on the trendy side of history, summoning in swathes of artists and creatives. We spent an age searching the streets for the right location – and we eventually found a cracker! Ruffians is located in a former abattoir on Rivington Street, the main thoroughfare in the heart of Shoreditch.
We take huge pride in how our stores look. We want them to be cutting edge but approachable, unique and full of personality: each shop is recognisable as a Ruffians shop and retains the same mischievous attitude that has cultivated our loyal client base. However, we mix it up by choosing units where we can embrace the original features and trace back the heritage of the building – in this case an abattoir!
How do Ruffians keep up to date with the latest trends within the industry?
At Ruffians, we spent a long time building our teams to be full of barbers from all backgrounds in the industry. Collectively we discuss current trends and future trends so we can see them from all angles. We cultivate a range and depth of knowledge available within our stores. Our barbers are able to see what clients are coming in and asking for. Marrying this with information from industry and fashion magazines, as well as attending industry events ensure wave always got our ear to the ground and at the forefront of the industry.
Where do you see the future of men’s grooming headed?
The men’s market has been well documented to be one of the highest growth industries today. Barbershops were the 2nd most common new stores in the UK last year alone. This has propelled the industry to become more competitive and offer the client more. It is true that men are spending more on their appearance – what this will do for the future of men’s grooming is make companies look to provide more services available to men and meet their needs.
We’ve seen an uptake in colouring request, shave and facial services. Men are seeking more education from their barbers regarding styling and products – a man’s bathroom cabinet is much fuller then it used to be! Men are becoming more adventurous or keen to keep the classic looks looking perfect at home.
What do you think makes a successful salon?
A perfect combination of atmosphere, customer service and quality. Ruffians offers a client journey that is unparalleled in the industry. From the minute one of our customers enters the store he is greeted by one of our front of house team, offered a choice of drinks then met by his barber who will have a wealth of experience. He will then take seat in one of our custom designed cutting stations. Consultation and advice from the barber will then ensure they deliver a perfect cut. With the options available to most men these days we aim to ensure client satisfaction, a combination of all of these is what makes a successful salon.
What has been Ruffians’ biggest achievement to date?
We’ve collected many industry awards and nominations during our time in the industry, including being finalists in GQ Grooming Awards (2015) for best grooming collection and winning best salon experience in Creative Head’s Most Wanted Awards (2014) – also finalists in 2016 and finalists in 2017! These awards push us to constantly maintain and improve our standards. The success of all our 4 branches together is what keeps us able to push the industry forward and be a key member of it.
What can we expect from Ruffians throughout 2017 and beyond?
You can expect Ruffians to develop as a brand, continue onwards and upwards bringing the gentlemen of the UK an unrivalled grooming experience! A new product range to complement our skilled work and an ever-increasing presence in the gentlemen’s grooming market! Watch this space!
Find Ruffians on Instagram: @ruffians