You may have seen this touching photo of the moment James Williams made a remarkable breakthrough with his four-year-old client, Mason.
Mason was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and often became uneasy during haircuts. After months of trying, James was able to give Mason his first proper haircut as the two lay in silence on the floor of his barbershop. The photo quickly went viral, amassing over two million views and being shared by both national and international news networks.
We were eager to learn a little more about the man in the photo.
“Well I suppose we should start with the basics! I’m James – Jim, to most people – and i’m the owner of Jim The Trim Barbershop in Briton Ferry, South Wales.
I have been a barber for the best part of a decade. My career began as a young apprentice at a salon called Emmanuel’s. Like many barbers, my original training was focussed on women’s hair. I slowly began to gravitate towards barbering, finding it both more creative and enjoyable. From very early on I was set on making a name for myself in the barbering industry.
After building a strong client list, I decided it was time to embark on the next chapter of my career. The doors to Jim The Trim opened at the beginning of October 2010. Following three years of extremely hard work, we relocated from our small shop in Neath to a bigger property in Briton Ferry.
We have worked around seventy five hours a week since the move – 10am to 8pm basic. The shop is also open on Sundays to support families with children on the autism spectrum. Finding a barber to cater to the particular needs of their child can be a challenge. But as we showed with Mason, where there’s a will there’s a way. The reaction to that particular photo has been incredible and wholly unexpected. We now aim to raise greater awareness for ASD.
Another highlight was being nominated by the Welsh Hair and Beauty Awards in the summer of 2015 for Best Barbers 2015. This is very much just the beginning: We hope to continue with the highest of standards for many years to come!”