'Wouldn't change it for the world' - Barber and salon owners reflect on first year

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen opened Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen opened Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Despite facing a mountain of challenges in their first year of business, the owners of a West Raynham barbers and salon say they wouldn’t change it for the world.

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen opened Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham last August. The pair have 20 years of experience in their respected industry, but this new business has been their first venture on their own.

The pair work together in the same room, with a chair each for their customers.

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen opened Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen opened Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Over the last year, they have faced the uncertainty of the pandemic, as well as burst water tank, issues with their water and electricity issues which has seen them only operate for around five months.

Despite the challenges, Ms Allen said they love what they are doing


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“We wouldn't change it for the world,” she said.

Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham

Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“We are doing what we love doing, and we're doing it how we want it done.

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“The fact that we've got returning clientele and we've got new clientele constantly coming through speaks for itself. For a little village salon, we couldn’t ask for any better, to go through all that and to see where we are at this stage we are just really thankful.”

The co-owners, who are also partners said the idea to open their own business was a joint effort. With Mr Dancaster having the idea some years ago, but it was Ms Allen who suggested that they should finally make the jump whilst the pair were furloughed last year.

Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham

Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham - Credit: Aaron McMillan

With them both feeling good about their business now, Mr Dancaster said there have been scary times throughout the last year.

“It's been awful (at times) because it's scary, you are thinking how do I provide for my family, how do you prepare for this, where is the next penny coming from, just like anyone else would,” he said.

“But at the same time, it makes you work harder, it makes you think about what you need to do to keep this going.

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen inside Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham.

Carl Dancaster and Donna Allen inside Verus Amor barbers and ladies salon on the Kipton Wood estate in West Raynham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“What have I got to do to promote it, to get people coming, or whatever it is you need to make that next step happen.”

The business is still looking to expand, as they plan to provide a nail station in the salon in the coming months.

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