This interview is part of a series chatting with local business owners, artists, organizers and people in our community who are learning to adapt during COVID-19.
Peter Fletcher – Fleet Street Barber Co
Describe your business.
Fleet Street Barber Company is a full-service barbershop. We provide services including all styles of men’s cuts, beard trimming and shaping, hot towel shaves, as well as informal education around product use, style, and hair and skin care. I am licensed to sell alcohol and have a small bar area for that purpose. I want my shop to be a place to relax, spend some time and enjoy a little bit of luxury treatment.
What does working from home/your workplace look like for you right now?
We are fortunate because much of the cleaning protocols that we have to implement are things that we have already been doing. Some extras that we do now include cleaning the barber chairs after every service, cleaning items that people touch a lot (such as credit/debit card keypad and doors), and ensuring that every customer gets a fresh cape. All the staff are required to wear masks during service as are the customers.
Right now, because we want to keep indoor traffic to the bare minimum, we are working by appointment only. That way nobody has to wait for service. Our barber services are also restricted. We are currently unable to provide service around the face, such as beard trims and shaves.
How have you adapted your operations during the pandemic?
My staff and I have fallen into the new routine pretty quickly. We have found the best and most efficient ways of keeping everything clean while maintaining our schedule. During the shut down, I started to sell products online and continue to do that. All in all, even though there are services that we have had to suspend for the time being, I think we are doing pretty well.
How have you been supported by the community?
As always, the community has been incredibly supportive. We only opened at the end of January and then promptly closed in March. Throughout the shut down I have received nothing but positive messages from my customers, the DBIA, and other local businesses.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation?
When we reopened, many people were in need of a haircut. As a result, we were completely booked for the first week and a half. There were many people that discovered us that likely would not have otherwise. A lot of these people have been very impressed with the shop and my amazing staff that they are now regulars.
What advice do you have for other business owners at this time?
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that there is any advice to give. We are all caught up in this unprecedented current and there isn’t much any of us can do but try our best to stay afloat. I suppose all I can say is that we need to take care of ourselves and each other.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I would like to say how happy I am to be able to own and operate my little shop here in Trenton. It is a good town with lots of potential. I really feel like I have some of the best people coming in to see us because I have the best people working for and with me. Thanks so much for shining a light on places like mine.
Stay tuned as we share more local folks who are Makin’ It Work.