LONDON CREATIVE: Richard Marshall
We caught up with Richard Marshall, owner of Pall Mall Barbers, and how at 12 years old he found his destiny.
1. AT THE AGE OF 12 YEARS OLD, YOU TOOK A JOB IN A BARBERS, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
My sister used to work in the reception of a barbers and I went to see her one day and found out they wanted a Saturday boy, it was fate! I’m a big believer in destiny.
2. HOW DID YOU BECOME THE OWNER OF PALL MALL BARBERS?
When I was a lot younger I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I had the drive and ambition to start up my own business and had wanted to for quite a long time, but no one would take me seriously at the age of 21. Then an old client approached me and said he had an opportunity that would be of interest to me. When he first sent me the proposal I had dismissed it as I was focused on going for another shop in Holborn. The shop in Holborn fell through and I remembered the initial opportunity, so we got back in contact and the guy dug out the details and it all went from there! I remember the first time I walked into Pall Mall Barbers and it was really worn out, it looked over 50 years old, like it was stuck in a time warp. It had been on the market for ages and nobody wanted it, but I saw the potential and look where we are now.
3. MEN’S GROOMING HAS INCREASED OVER THE YEARS, WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR REQUEST AT THE BARBERS, IS IT BEARD TRIMMING OR IS IT STILL A HAIRCUT?
Although appointments for facial hair grooming is growing, statistics prove that haircuts are most popular, the only thing that changes are the trends the clients want and the improved techniques we use. A haircut will always be a necessity for a man. Appointments for facial hair grooming is growing though.
4. WILL YOU BE OPENING PALL MALL BARBERS IN A NEW LOCATION IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Yes, the plan is for many more to come!
5. WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE GIVEN TO YOU?
Best advice I’ve been given is from my Dad, I struggled with dyslexia at school and was unsure of what I was going to do with my life. My dad said to me, ‘Get a trade. Get a job where those skills aren’t needed, you can still succeed.’ And that’s what I did. All these years later those skills have gradually come over time, but weren’t necessary for building my career.
6. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES IN LONDON TO VISIT?
Blackfriars bridge; when I see the London skyline from Blackfriars bridge it never fails to gives me goose bumps. I also love to drive through the West End at night, via Piccadilly, it is such a nice feeling and is where I first fell in love with London. My favourite venue is the roundhouse oh and Ronnie Scott and their late night Jazz Sessions.