It’s not even two years since Miss Barbette first opened their doors on Cheadle Road, yet, somehow, they seem to just belong. It’s like they’ve been there forever. Miss Barbette neighbours other Cheadle Hulme legends, Spreadborough’s the florist, and the Kenilworth, and is already as much part of the community as they are.
Step inside and it’s immediately apparent that this is not just any old barbershop. Miss Barbette is NOT just a barber’s – and an army of clients will testify to that. Award-winning Kelly is herself much more than ‘just a barber’. The shop is exquisitely styled and fitted out, with an eye for detail and quirky additions that boast ‘wow’ factor, but also warm and welcoming. Yes, it is stylish and distinctive – almost Peaky Blinder-esque, but with a feminine touch. Miss Barbette is Kelly’s dream and Kelly’s plan, brought to life by Kelly’s sheer determination and hard graft – helped by equally-dedicated partner Dan, of Modern Heating Services along with Adam Pavey, of South Manchester Electrical. Adam did “a fantastic job on all the electrical work, rewiring all fixtures and fittings.” Dan and Adam created the stunning lighting which, Kelly says, “captured exactly the mood and eye-catching look I was after for day and evening. It’s become a talking point, everyone loves the lighting and people notice the shop, even when passing in traffic.” John, landlord of the Kenny and several Kenny regulars also made a big difference.
This wasn’t an easy ride, by any stretch of the imagination. A messy, grubby, and unloved fancy dress shop in its past life, getting the space cleared and ready was a mission and a half. Says Kelly, “Friends and family did EVERYTHING.” Between them, they turned it round in just six weeks. Kelly and Dan worked until 4 in the morning on too many occasions to mention. Clearing, cleaning, scrubbing, smashing walls down and painting, you name it, they did it. Heart and soul have gone into Miss Barbette.
Kelly was already a talented and well-known award-winning barber. She’s also a real grafter, a considerable force of energy and a lovely, genuinely warm person to be around. The perfect person to set up her own business, then. That Miss Barbette would be a roaring success was never in doubt. Kelly would work to make it so.
Kelly spent eight years hairdressing but found she loved the technique and eye for detail required when styling gents’ hair. After all, with typically shorter hair, there’s no margin for error; no hiding place. Kelly then trained as a professional barber with Alexanders of Didsbury, working there and in their Bramhall shop. She clearly found her niche, loved every minute and built up her own loyal client base who have since followed her. Setting up her own barbershop was a natural progression.
Miss Barbette was always going to be in Cheadle Hulme. Kelly is Cheadle Hulme through and through. She grew up nearby, on Hurley Drive off Turves Road, and went to school locally. Partner Danny “lived five doors down”. They’ve been together 19 years and have four children – the eldest, lovely Kayla is one of the Miss Barbette juniors. Kelly’s known John and Annette of the Kenilworth pub, and their family, and Paul and Linda of next-door neighbour, Paul Barlow Hairdressing, for twenty years. All have been incredibly supportive, further proving that Kelly chose the perfect location. In fact, Kelly chose the location long before the shop became available. It was just “right”.
Since opening, Kelly’s been joined by equally talented barber, Mai. It was clear within a month of opening that Kelly needed another barber, and that barber had to be special. Mai is that person and is very much part of Miss Barbette. Team Miss B is indeed a team effort – everyone matters. The juniors are part of the team too, and Kelly says they “couldn’t do it without them”. They are appreciated and looked after – much like the clients. Another barber will soon join the team – but again, it won’t be just anybody.
The best bit, says Kelly, is not just the realising of her dream. It’s the clients, new and old. Since reopening, post-Covid lockdown on the very apt 4 July, over 110 brand new clients have visited (and the visited again. And again). Women clamour to book their fellas in (female barbers know what looks good on a bloke) and kids love their haircuts here too. The booking system works for everyone, there’s no waiting around. You get the sense that clients are amongst friends here. There’s banter, there are families in, lads and dads, older chaps too. Kelly, Mai and the team aim to deliver “an amazing service from the off.” The reviews and recommendations say they do exactly that.
So, almost two years on, the reality is every bit as good as Kelly’s plans and dreams. She’s rightly proud of what’s been achieved here. Sure, it was hard work and still is – but Kelly’s SO not afraid of that. She doesn’t blow her own trumpet much, but she should. Fortunately, her friends, partner and family do. And her clients too. Miss Barbette is an incredible achievement. A fabulous barbershop, an amazing community and the perfect addition to their part of Cheadle Hulme.
Facebook: Miss Barbette
Address: 70 Cheadle Road, SK8 5DU