Cutting Edge

The TN card is the not-for-profit loyalty card that rewards our community for supporting local at over 900 independents across Tunbridge Wells and the TN postcodes.  This month founder Jess Gibson chats to James Worby and Bradley Munro at JAMES|MUNRO hair salon, located on the High Street, about why they’re a cut above the rest…

James and Bradley, when did JAMES|MUNRO open and is this your first business venture?

We opened the doors to JAMES|MUNRO on the 30th of September 2021, just as the final Covid lockdown lifted. For both of us this was our first business venture. Having both worked in the hairdressing industry for fourteen years and now unable to work due to Covid restrictions, the idea of creating a cutting-edge salon space was born.  It took a lot of work and sacrifice, but we made it happen, and couldn’t be happier with the result.  We have both always lived locally to Tunbridge Wells and to have a shop in the heart of the town really is a dream come true.  

What led to you launching a business together?

We both had the ambition of one day opening a salon, ever since we started cutting hair. It was really Covid that gave us a moment to stop and think about the direction our lives were moving in, and we decided to take that leap of faith. We had worked together at a local salon and believed we could each bring our unique individual skills and talents, to collectively create an industry-leading company. Between the two of us we have trained with Toni & Guy and London School Of Barbering, allowing us to combine high-end hairdressing with contemporary barbering.

You’ve expanded your team and you are now also extending your services to women’s hair…

Yes!  It was always our intention to grow the JAMES|MUNRO brand into much more than a high-end men’s salon. Training as women’s hairdressers at Toni & Guy gave us a really good idea of what it would take to create a high-end women’s hair salon. We are extremely proud to have the talented Bryony Bond heading it up. Having worked at some of Tunbridge Wells’ best female salons we really feel she shares our vision for creating an industry-leading salon environment. 

How would you define the JAMES|MUNRO style?

We would say our style is a blend of innovative modern hairdressing and contemporary barbering. We always wanted to create an environment where scissor work takes priority as we really believe this is what makes the difference between an average haircut and a great one. We want each customer to leave feeling we have been able to listen to them, understand their idea and make it a reality.  Creating a haircut that truly lasts until their next visit.

How are you finding Tunbridge Wells as a place to do business?

We both love Tunbridge Wells. Having worked in the area for over fourteen years we couldn’t think of a better place to start our first business venture. We love how collaborative the town is and how nice it is that all the local businesses help each other – it feels like a real community. We also love the diversity here which as hairstylists gives us such a variety of styles and looks to work with day to day. In terms of our location, we are very happy with where we are positioned – we feel like the old High Street is an iconic area of Tunbridge Wells and we’re in the heart of the action.

Why was it important to you to join the TN card and how do you thank members for supporting local?

Being part of the TN card has been a major factor in the success of our business.  We love everything it stands for and most importantly, our customers love it.  We provide 10% discount on all our services and products to TN card members as a reward for supporting local.  Huge thanks to you Jess, for inviting us to be part of such a fantastic scheme. 

What does the future hold for JAMES|MUNRO?

The future looks bright at JAMES|MUNRO. Feedback from our customers has been amazing and we both feel very privileged to be able to wake up every day and do something we love.  We have some big plans in motion for 2024 which we can’t wait to announce – we feel that there’s a lot that’s been overlooked by existing brands so we are in the process of creating something very special.  We have just taken on a new graduate stylist, Kai, and we will be working hard this year to grow our amazing team further.

87 High St, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1YG

TN card reward: 10% discount

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