10 years in the making

Just a minute… With Simon Rees from The Engine Room

Hello Simon. How long have you had your business in Crouch End?
I’ve been here for 27 years! I started at 32 Middle Lane with a half shop with just three chairs and then it got so busy that we moved to number 26 (where we are now) and have been here ever since!

What are the best things about owning your own business?
Having your independence and being able to project the image you want to project. Also, I’ve been really lucky with staff. I’ve worked with a lot of good people and the staff have been of a very high standard. A lot of them worked in town originally, so I didn’t have to stand over anybody. We have many loyal customers who return time and time again as well as lots of new customers. I really love what I do so these things are definitely what makes me happy having my own business.

What don’t you like about it?
Not getting enough holiday! You can never take enough time off but I’m very lucky to have Agi because that does give me a bit of time off.

What are the main challenges you face as a small independent business?
The biggest challenge is balancing everything out really. The business rates, the outgoings, wages, all these things, just the general financial aspect of it are the biggest challenges. You have to keep everything ticking over while still maintaining the high standard.

What’s the most popular haircut?
Variations on a bob – classic bobs, graduated bobs, choppy bobs, stacked bobs all different types of bobs are definitely the most popular for women. For men, it would be short, back and sides – always short back and sides!

What’s one of your favourite films of all time and why?
My favourite film of all time? That’s easy! It’s Some Like it Hot! I love Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. It’s a brilliant film, a classic! It has to be one of the greatest comedies ever made. Another film I love is Sexy Beast. Ben Kingsley is bloody brilliant in it!

You can get any variation of a bob or short back and sides amongst other haircuts at The Engine Room. They also provide drying, finishing, colouring and highlighting services.

They’re open Tuesday to Saturday and located at 26 Middle Lane, N8.