woman sat on bench outside a barbers- the shutters are covered in graffiti
(Photo: Cwmbran Life)

A new barber in Cwmbran has told how she’s renovated her unit, helped another business expand and brought “life” to a parade of shops.

Ali Mingita opened Ali’s Barber Chair during June in Croswen in Oakfield. She previously rented a small room at the back of the former suntan salon. Her new shop features striking graffiti art on the shutters showing her holding scissors, with a baseball cap with ‘Ali’ on it pulled down over her face. Benches outside the shop encourage people to stop and watch the world go by.

Ali told Cwmbran Life: “I took over the business in June and then when I was renovating my own barber shop here I had the the idea of actually opening up the other space as well. So instead of renting the rooms out, I thought maybe we can just get the shutters up to see if we’ve got windows and a door and it worked.” The large unit is now open on two sides so passing customers can see inside her shop and the new ‘pre-loved and vintage clothes shop next door.

Sarah Jenkins, who runs Jessica’s Boutique, was renting a small room inside the large unit when Alina took over. Ali said: “When I had the idea of opening up the other space she said she was going to go into partnership with Kat (Karina Maving). So they are both renting the premises from me and we’ve got a big, full shop now. It feels full of life. I used to rent a little room inside the business before and it was very quiet. Once I took it over and I transformed it into a barber shop and something else at the back, it’s becoming full of life. It’s populated. There are kids coming and saying hello. It’s amazing. I love it.”

a barber's shop
Ali’s Barber Chair in Oakfield Shops (Photo: Cwmbran Life)