A BARBER owner who wanted to be at the heart of the community is celebrating his third year in business.

Since opening A Style Barbers on Manchester Road in 2018, owner Asher Graham and his team have been touched by the support they received from the people in the area – especially over the past year.

The stylist, who wanted to work for himself and launched his own business at the young age of 21, has also been helping men and women open up about their mental health issues during the pandemic.

The 24-year-old, from the town centre, said: “I am close to the community, they support me all the way, even when I do events.

“I just like helping people. Me opening the shop is a platform that I have built for my team, my clients to come and do something and make something out of them.

“I’ve planted the seed. So, everybody around me now, all they have to do is just keep watering and we’re all going to grow.”

For the past three years, Asher said he has helped people feel more confident about themselves.

He said: “They feel like a brand-new person. I’ve got the skill and the people that are working with me have the skill to obviously transform them and boost their self-confidence.

“They feel good about themselves, they can go and represent themselves properly.”

Asher was well prepared to face one of the toughest year for local businesses.

He said: “The pandemic didn’t affect us as such. My mum has always said to me to save money for a rainy day. And when that rainy day came, we were alright, I was not trying to rely on government funds or anything like that.

“I was pretty comfortable during the pandemic and as soon as we open, we were flooded with customers.”

Asher said he has grown around barbers which encouraged him to open his business.

“I was always around barbers while I was growing up. I have seen what they were doing and it’s a craft that I picked up along the way he said,” he said.

He said he is proud of what he has achieved at such a young age, adding: “if you put your head to it, you can make it.”

Last year the barber told the Adver he was offering a safe place for men and woman to relax and chat about mental health if needed.

And this has not changed since then. He said: “Because of Covid things have been put on a pause, but I still get people asking me for help.”