It’s exquisite, it’s class, it’s unique and affordable! John Maingi and Sally Wangeci, founders of the States Barbershop and Lounge totally understand that it takes more than a deft barber to attract customers when one ventures into one of the most common business sectors among Kenyan youth.
Their barbershop, locally known as kinyozi, is arguably the fanciest kinyozi in the densely populated Umoja Innercore estate, Nairobi. One can’t help but notice the outstanding States Barbershop in the crowded industry of barbershops and high end beauty parlors. Why is that? At a glance, it looks exactly like the popular city Psv. mini-buses (locally known as matatu) pimped up with attractive graffiti on the exterior and decorated with flashy lights inside.
“We decided to come up with a barbershop that is a little bit connected with the matatu culture. You know, the more you pimp your matatu, with flashy lights and entertainment inside, the more passengers you get,” John told TUKO.
The founders wanted to revamp the shop because they were looking for something unique and at the same time wanted to do something that reflected their appreciation for the popular matatu culture. “It was Sally’s idea. She is behind the impressive art,” he revealed during an exclusive interview at the States Barbershop and Lounge which opened its doors in 2017.
Unlike her competitors, States Barbershop offers cutting edge haircut services. “When you get into our shop, you will be welcomed by a customer service person who will show you where to sit and wait for your barber. After the barber is done with you, you will be taken to the shampoo ladies to wash your hair. They will massage you and make sure everything on your head is neat,” John explained.
When all that’s said and done, State Barbershop customers are then treated to free drinks. “We have a variety of drinks, including alcohol, hot chocolate and juice. We strive to make our customers feel special and make them see the difference between us and our competitors,” John said.
Business is good with an average of 100 customers per day attended to by 17 employees. They are planning to open similar shops in every town and city across the country. This is what we call the power of art! Never under-estimate it.#Rewordit