The beautiful story of one man’s dream coming to fruition.

Just recently Liverpool was named the UK’s most entrepreneurial city. The oasis of risk takers combined with our willingness to support local people and ventures has allowed many people to realise their dream. This is just one of the many stories out there in this wonderful city that’ll hit you right in the heart. Ten years ago, John May started barbering after failing on a string of apprenticeships in the building trades. Not wanting to follow in his family’s footsteps, John picked up his scissors and never looked back. It was a creative outlet for him and something he really enjoyed. John has always been inspired by the old culture of barbering and the traditional barbering done by the likes of Hill and Trumpers and truefitt in London. After 3 years of cutting for someone else, John was ready to take the big leap and open his own shop called ‘Sweeps’. With just £1200 in his pocket and buckets of passion, he opened Sweeps on the street next to where he has always lived. You may know Sweeps Barber Shop for their incredible Scouse Star Wars parody that went viral. 

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With his success came great competition. More and more barbers opened, but rather than moan and become cynical, John refocused his mindset and became even more passionate about the business. A much grander shop became free just over the road for him, so John worked day and night saving to make his dream come true. The new shop was seven times bigger, had 6 chairs in comparison to just one and his hard work paid off. With all the new space, he wracked his mind on what to do with it until it hit him that the worst part of any barber experience is the wait. It was at that very moment Sweeps would never be a normal barber shop again. 


Half of the shop is now Sweeps Coffee Shop, an elegant 1920s styled coffee house that will hit you right in your sweet tooth. Freshly roasted coffee, loose leaf teas and treats – a place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat before getting our ears lowered. John, as well as a business owner is a father to three girls and an actor so sought help from Sam Carney, a life-long customer and a friend of John’s. On the opening day, John walked around and saw people chatting and getting their hair cut, people catching up over a coffee and local kids enjoying an ice cream and told us it was the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. He created this, he created his own dream.


Go grab a coffee, get your hair cut or do both. Like them on Facebook here.

Thank you to Struth Photography for the great photos.