HJ Interiors: The Wild Hare in Tooting
The Wild Hare in Tooting has undergone a miraculous transformation from a damp, health-and-safety nightmare to a mid-century male grooming mecca…
Name: The Wild Hare
Address: Mitcham Road, Tooting, London
Owners: Georgie Wynes-Devlin and Hayley Kemm
Size: 800 square foot plus basement
With a pool table, locally brewed beer and a wide range of magazines such as Monocle and The Economist, it’s easy to see why The Wild Hare is the go-to place for men looking to reset and recharge for a few hours.
Owners Georgie Wynes-Devlin and Hayley Kemm combined their 25 years experience to open their own shop in Tooting Broadway in South West London last year. The aim was to create a space that was both luxurious and relaxed.
Despite finding the premises in poor condition with damp walls, no plumbing and outdated electrics, they felt an instant connection. It’s easy to see why with its floor to ceiling windows and statement front door. Georgie and Hayley had a tight budget so they designed the salon themselves.
“Luckily we are both artistic and we know our target demographic. We worked with the original features of the shop rather than against them,” explains Georgie.
For example, the duo kept the original parquet flooring and mid-century features, but introduced a colour scheme centered on navy, tan, grey and pops of yellow to make it more contemporary. This contemporary vision also extends to the ethos of the salon.
The Wild Hare is a place where getting a haircut, is viewed as more than a necessity. “We wanted a space where gents can come to escape the daily stresses of London life,” explains Georgie. “The opportunity for them to relax and get pampered, without having to clock watch, is so rare in this day and age.” When refitting a salon or barbershop, your connections can prove invaluable. “We became friends with a local carpenter who made us a bespoke reception desk to fit our style and space. It even holds a fridge where we keep beer,” Georgie says.
Hayley’s dad made the shelving and pool table and the mid-century furniture was sourced on ebay and Gumtree. While, the art that features in the shop was either donated by clients or locally-sourced. The Wild Hare knows the importance of first impressions, which is why passers-by can see an intriguing vintage drinks cabinet in the window.
It showcases spirits and displays antique razors and shaving equipment. It’s this old-school charm (and possibly the craft beer) that encourages The Wild Hare’s clients to come back time and again for more than just a short, back and sides.
Georgie and Hayley’s top tips
Don’t always rely on shop fitters. We found local builders who quoted thousands of pounds less. Get at least five quotations, you’ll be surprised how much the prices fluctuate.
Look into energy saving boilers. We use the Salon Aquaflow water system which uses 40% less energy and saves us money.
Create a buzz! When the work is being carried out, print out posters to put on the windows to tell passers-by when you’re opening and why they should be excited.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2019 of HJ Men. Find out how to become a member here