Big Apple inspires Fylde barber's empire dream
A young Blackpool barber has taken inspiration from the go-ahead attitude of New York City to launch his hair cutting empire on the Fylde.
Adam Astbury, 26, a former Highfield High Pupil has opened Empire Barbershop in Station Road after months of hard work refurbishing the building.
And Adam said he was hoping to grow his business and inspire other Blackpool youngsters to achieve in life by starting their own businesses and make something of themselves.
Adam who has been a barber for ten years overcame initial set-backs in his ambitions when his first choice for a career fell through.
He said: "In many places in Blackpool were I grew up, few people seem to aspire to much. There is a lot of deprivation and some people don't have much incentive to make things better. and some can end up in trouble doing things they don't really want to be doing.
"I want to show how a bit of ambition can get people out of the rut and make something of their lives. Having your own business can do that.
"I have had to work hard and, with a limited budget, I've been able to set up on my own at relatively young age.
"The shop used to be a merchandise store for AFC Fylde so I had to give it a major overhaul.
It has a New York theme, with the Empire State Building. New York is my favourite city. I went there two years ago and loved the energy. It inspired me and my business is all about building an empire."
He said his aim was to get established in his first shop and then look to open others across the Fylde coast.
"Kirkham is an up and coming area and has some very good businesses in town. You meet people from all sorts of industries and backgrounds."
He said while at school his first idea for a career was in plumbing.
"I went to college to study but the problem was that it was 2008 and the huge recession meant there were no work placements for me. I had to rethink.
"I had always had an interest in hair, fashion and clothing and took a pride in my appearance so I thought I would follow this passion.
"I did my apprenticeship in Fleetwood and then worked part time in Bispham and in the town centre renting chairs. It was a steep learning curve but I always enjoyed the work and going to the conventions. I enjoyed trying to challenge myself and learn something new.
"But I always wanted my own business. It has been a huge job but we are open and the shop looks great with its clean modern theme. We have two chairs but are looking to build it up and I have people already asking if I have any jobs for them. It is great to have such early interest."