Well where do I start? with the latest on our growing British Streetwear Clothing brand or the very start, when I’m getting trained up by my barbering peers Sandy Minto and Myke Greaves? Well My story is a long one, mainly because I’ve been here such a long time. And whats great about that is, I still love my job and the people I work with!

So all through my teens I flirted with barbering, mainly just messing up my own hair or my good friends that were willing to sacrifice what little pulling potential they had. I never really saw it as a career opportunity, coming from Telford where the barbershops were dismal, unattractive and boring places, that usually smelt of damp hair. I never thought to myself “when I grow up, I want to work in a place like this” so I never took it too seriously. It was only when I moved to Liverpool that thats when my life and friendship circle got a lot trendier, I started to take my barbering a bit more seriously. Most my friends were students at the time and to save a few quid they would like me practice some edgy cuts on them. I started to visit all different types of salons around the city, from £7 bald fades in the various afro barbers of Smithdown Road Liverpool or the Expensive unisex salons of the city centre, it was a great way to watch and learn, not only what to do, but sadly for my hair at times, what not to do. After a while of slowly bettering my cuts, blagging my way in to more and more student halls with my clippers in scissors in hand and a vague idea in mind my older brother and business partner at the time pulled me to one side and selflessly said I should take this seriously, “sell up and promise me you’ll go get qualified.”

So I did, we parted ways from our old business and after a summer of bodging trims in Ibiza I found myself moving to Leeds in time to start college. The only downfall was, I had left it too late to apply for any spaces on a barbering course and ended up on a hairdressers course. This wasn’t ideal at the time, but I was determined to get on to the right path (and at 23 years old and skint, I was right on the threshold of getting a free college course). I spent weeks walking around Leeds and Wakefield applying for apprenticeship positions, I would have taken on even the dingiest place to get the ball rolling, but no where would have me. Wether it was my age, or the fact I was just too late in the year to get a spot, but just as I was about to give up and move back home to Telford someone suggested I go check out this new barbershop in the Leeds Corn Exchange, iMale.

Thats when I met Sandy and Myke, who thankfully decided they were ready for an apprentice. I’m pretty sure I was given the opportunity to start there on the fact that I had tattoos. Judging by the look of Sandy, Myke and the owners Neil and Leroy, this seemed to be the only criteria necessary at the time.  They told me to come back the next day for a trial, that day of endless cleaning, of a shop that had never seen a cleaning product! That day happily turned in to this 7 years later. Back then We had fun, loads of fun, we all bonded so well that it didn’t even matter to Neil that we weren’t making a profit. He just let the good times roll and the debts mount up.  Most people would have shut it down after a year or two, but we stuck with it, he saw its potential. What was crucial to this little imale store growing was that we all got on so well and we did things our way, it created an atmosphere, we would wind each other up like family would and people could sense that when they came in. Eventually word started to spread, great barbers started to come on board bringing their own banter and style, they fitted in so perfectly. Paul Mason, Gaz Farrar and Anthony Capitano have all been here so long. What is testament to this brotherhood is the fact we are all still here today.Now Im over at our second store, a more peaceful store compared to the original store and that is how i prefer things now. it has more space and some pretty cool characters filling it up. This gives me more space and time to focus, not only on my barbering but on the clothing brand we built as well. It was always a vision of mine to have my own clothing brand, way back when I was fresh out of school and into art college. Now that is becoming a reality because we have such a strong brand and recognisable brand. You can check out what we have released so far in the store www.kingkoby.com/store  I’ll tell you more about the clothing and where we are heading just in time for our next drop in April.

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Thank you to all my loyal customers, new and old, who have made this journey so enjoyable over the years. Stay tuned and stay humble,

Peace, Snips