Meet The Levy Payer: James Dun on Belmont
James Dun on Belmont is on a mission to make people look and feel great – and that includes their own new salon.
The hugely popular hair and beauty business – co-owned by Dean Walker and Duncan Wiseman - has just moved from James Dun House to a stunning new home at The Academy on the corner of Belmont Street.
We caught up with Dean to hear more about James Dun on Belmont, the exciting plans for the coming months and his thoughts on operating a business in the heart of the Granite City.
Tell us about James Dun on Belmont
Primarily, we're a hair and beauty business, so we offer all sorts of hair and beauty services. We aim at the higher end of the luxury market, and we've got a beautiful space on the corner of Belmont Street which we've just moved into. So, basically, making people feel look and great is our main aim.
What do you like about being based in the city centre?
I love our new location on the corner of Belmont Street. I feel that Belmont Street has got a real community to it. There are a lot of local businesses on Belmont Street, which I like to be part of. It’s a pedestrianised street, which makes it feel really nice. We’re right opposite the art gallery, we've got the new Union Terrace Gardens around the corner from us, so it's a lovely area.
Ultimately, the city centre is at the heart of any city. I feel it's an important thing for people to come to the city centre and meet and enjoy and share and communicate with each other. It’s just nice to be part of it.
What are the benefits for you and James Dun On Belmont of being an Aberdeen Inspired levy payer?
I think Aberdeen inspired is a voice for the business community and also helps initiate events and initiatives.
There are lots of initiatives for cleaning up the city centre, for making it more attractive, for keeping it safe while people are walking around. All of those things are a positive for any business owner in the city centre.
It feels like you need a voice, you need someone to help with that type of stuff, and I think that's really what Aberdeen inspired do. That’s why we pay our bid levy.
What are your plans for James Dun on Belmont for the next 12 months?
We've just moved to this new location, which is only a few doors up from where we were. I love the old, listed building that we're in now. We’re really lucky.
We've got some development still to do within the building. Over the course of the next 12 months, we're going to double the footprint of the space that we work out of.
We'll be able to increase our team members and increase our training program as well, which is a big part of what we do. Creating the next generation of hairdressers is vital for our business – it’s our lifeblood and it's something that we particularly focus on.
I think we've got the biggest training program in the city centre for hairdressers, so there's going to be an area dedicated to a training facility as well.
We're going to have a busy few months getting the second part of our new project off the ground.
What advice would you give to new businesses looking to start in the city centre?
Aberdeen is still a thriving place, although it's been through difficult times recently. I think if you have a great idea, and you're willing to put the work in and make the effort, there's plenty of opportunity for people to come and for businesses to thrive.
There are still plenty of people who want to come into the city centre, you just have to create the right opportunity for them.
What would be the biggest improvement to the city centre in your opinion?
I think the appearance of some parts of the city centre and the sort of anti-social behaviour that you can see on Union Street are the two main things which need to be paid attention to.
I think if we can sort that out, people will come into the city centre again, and it will thrive, revive and regenerate, because everything's cyclical. It's never the good times forever, so we go through times where it's not so great, then it comes around again. It feels like we're in that cycle and we’re now ready for the up. I feel there’s a momentum swing towards improvement and getting things back on track.
That’s why we moved, to reinvent and change what we do. We’re excited to be part of that.
What is your favourite place or thing to do in the city centre?
I love the fact that we're near the ocean and we’ve got a beautiful beach. I love it down. The bright little street food vendors down there are a great addition to that area. It makes a bit of interest and uniqueness to it.
So, I love taking my dog down to the beach for a walk, maybe stopping off at one of those little food vendors for a snack.
You can find more about James Dun on Belmont here. Follow James Dun on Facebook here.
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