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Chloe Norman celebrates three generations of customers of The Crop Shop in a new mural

How do you highlight the importance of a hairdressers to its local community while attracting new customers? An art mural of its diverse clientele might just do the trick, as we find out.

It's been 34 years since The Crop Shop opened its doors in Slade Green, serving the local community as a hairdressers and barbers, welcoming both men and women, young and old. To mark this milestone, Chloe Norman has painted a special mural outside the spot on Lincoln Road, Erith.

The brief was to make it clear that it wasn't just a barbers for men but also a hairdressers for everyone else. It wanted to communicate this while also transforming the exterior of its building, adding some character and interest to an otherwise bare wall.

For inspiration, Chloe considered the very loyal customers who have always been the focus of The Crop Shop. And so she gathered various photographs from real people who often visit, and chose a few that captured the essence of the business, which has been "cutting the hair of generations" for over three decades (so the slogan goes).

"With this selection of photos, the key was then to shuffle through and use subjects that honoured the slogan, representing all ages," explains Chloe. "We even had one client coming to Graham since he opened the shop in 1990, so of course he had to be included."

The slogan was birthed from multiple stellar reviews the owner has received over the years. The loyal customers include those who have lived in the area for more than 30 years, families spanning up to five generations, and new clients coming from near and far. "He's a real staple for the community," adds Chloe.

"The illustration style was a really exciting one to figure out, as Graham was keen for the mural to be timeless, sleek and not too brightly coloured," she continues. "We even got customer involvement on which colour to paint the shop and background for the mural, which they seemed to enjoy being a part of." As such, Chloe opted for a muted palette of navy, grey, cream and white.

The initial concept for the mural stemmed from extending the 'waiting room' chairs to the shop's exterior, as you can see the windows from the outside. But as Chloe explains, "After lots of tweaking and pulling inspiration from the hairdresser's tools, we ended up with something much more dynamic. It's as though each customer is a little element in the life of The Crop Shop, shown through the 'windows' of his tools. It really celebrates the community and people who have supported Graham's shop for the last 30-plus years."

Chloe admits painting the actual mural was as fun as the process itself. "It might have been my favourite part," she says. "It sparked interesting conversations with passersby and has elevated the space. I'm excited to take on more projects like this in the future."

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