A PONTYPOOL barber has opened his own shop in the town centre on his 25th birthday.
James Austin opened Austin & Co Gentleman’s Barbers on Commercial Street on Saturday, March 12.
Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic Mr Austin decided he wanted to open his own shop – and as soon as he saw the space at Old Market House he knew this was the place to launch his own business.
He had previously worked as a hairdresser at Split Endz in Pontypool for around three years, before deciding to branch out into men’s hair too. During this time, he was nominated as a finalist for a Wales-wide barbering award.
He moved to Lazarou in Cardiff, where he worked for around five years.
“That’s where I learnt a lot of my barbering,” he said.
“Since Covid I thought I didn’t want to be commuting to Cardiff every day.
“I saw they were encouraging businesses to come into Pontypool town centre.
“As soon as I saw the shop I loved it. It’s one of the oldest shops in Pontypool, which I didn’t know.
“It was a little bit scary but I thought if I didn’t go for it now when I’m young, I might not ever do it.
“I opened on Saturday, March 12. It’s been going really well. I’ve even had some of my customers from Cardiff come in.”