We chat with Louis Welsh, founder of one of Cardiff’s most iconic barbershops

Based in the heart of Cardiff, Gents of Brooklyn is known for their consistently great haircuts and welcoming atmosphere. Their founder Louis Welsh is the driving force behind the business, making sure every client leaves satisfied and helping his barbers do their best work.

We caught up with Louis for his top tips on growing a successful barbershop, how to stand out from the competition, and how business owners can use Fresha to both win clients and empower staff. 

Tell us about your journey as a barbershop owner.

Gents of Brooklyn was built on a foundation of passion and hard work. Since launching the business in 2017, we’ve gone from one venue and a small team to three fully-staffed venues across Cardiff. We’ve also opened an academy where we help aspiring barbers get their first certifications and break into the industry.

How do you make sure your barbershop stands out?

We train our barbers in-house to make sure they all give the same high quality service, while allowing them the freedom to showcase their own strengths and technique in their haircuts. Plus, at Gents of Brooklyn, it’s not only about looking good – we focus on the whole client experience, with complimentary drinks to men’s luxury facials.

What do clients love most about Gents of Brooklyn?

Our clients look forward to their appointments because they know they’ll receive a warm welcome – our team goes out of their way to engage with clients, learn their preferences and make them feel comfortable. Once they’re in the chair, clients get to relax and unwind; they know based on our track record that they’re getting a great haircut, guaranteed. 


What’s the secret to your success?

Knowing our client base well. We get a wide range of clients here in Cardiff, including students, professionals and local regulars – and we’ve taken the time to learn how to appeal to each of them with personalised experiences, from trending haircuts and valuable discounts to refreshments and loyalty rewards.    

What’s been your biggest challenge so far as a barbershop owner?

Keeping track of vital parts of the business became more challenging as we grew. When you have so many bookings and staff members, it can be difficult to manage your schedule and get the most out of each day, while tracking where tips came from and who earned them. 

What led you to start using Fresha?

We needed a booking system that would help us provide a great client experience as we grew, while helping our barbers do their best work. Fresha took the strain of managing our appointments off of the team, which means we can serve more clients per day and fully focus on giving them the best experience possible. And by taking our tips through Fresha payments, we can guarantee that the team gets their tips fairly and on time, which helps keep them motivated. 

How easy was it to get started with Fresha?

Very easy. Fresha’s interface is clear and user-friendly, so it didn’t take much training to get our staff up to speed. Adding new venues and managing them all within the platform is simple. Plus, our clients tell us booking through the app is a breeze.  


How has Fresha helped you grow your business?

Our reviews on Fresha have helped us build a great online reputation, which draws in new clients who are browsing for barbershops on the Fresha marketplace. It’s also easier than ever to make an appointment with us – our regulars love that they can book their appointments weeks in advance at a time that suits them, which helps us get more repeat bookings. 

What’s your all-time favourite Fresha feature?

Being able to take bookings online is a game changer. We get a lot of our bookings through Fresha’s “Book Now” buttons on our social media platforms – it’s so convenient for our clients. Lots of our younger generation clients book directly through our Instagram page, but we also get plenty of bookings from Facebook and Google too. 

One word of advice barbershop owners need to hear?

Giving great haircuts is crucial, but make sure you also focus on the full client experience. Train your team to engage with clients from the moment they walk in, and offer plenty of extras like hot towel shaves and refreshments to elevate the in-store experience. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to book, pay, and leave a review with an online platform like Fresha. You’ll build a strong reputation that’ll help you win new clients and keep your regulars coming back.

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