abz.life stories: Bringing life back to the city

08 May 2021

At abz.life, we have been on a mission to share the love for our incredible businesses in Aberdeen city and shire, and encourage our community to support local. What started as a pandemic project to help our city’s small businesses in a time of huge uncertainty, has now turned into a growing hub for independent lifestyle businesses here in the North East.

With hospitality, retail and beauty businesses reopening their doors over the past few weeks, we wanted to celebrate this phenomenal step to a brighter future for our local businesses and continue sharing their inspiring stories and exciting updates as we all emerge out of lockdown.

For our first abz.life story feature, we caught up with a number of local businesses to find out how they’ve been feeling getting back to work and what their highlights have been in the first 2 weeks of reopening their doors...

The Cleavin Barber Club

“It’s so great to be back for the social side of it - we covered 750 haircuts in the first week across two shops, so that was plenty of new and old faces we got to chat with. The clear answer as to what we’re all looking forward to after that graft is a pint! We finally got to enjoy our belated Christmas night out as well which was amazing!

“We may be open but we are still heavily restricted and limited to haircuts only for now - not ideal when facial hair service was 30% of our income! We can't wait to get back to offering our award winning hot towel shave, but for now we’re very happy to have reopened our doors.”

Juniper Aberdeen

“The team are delighted to be in the store again and get back to normality! We have been so grateful for the online orders we have received throughout lockdown but are so glad to be able to interact with customers again. We have seen lots of familiar faces upon reopening and it is so refreshing to see people coming in to support us! The need to support local businesses is more important now than ever!”

Swish Swish Bish

“YAAASSS we are all reopening!!! It’s a little nerve wracking but WOW it feels good to throw open my doors to the clothes swappers of Aberdeen and the shire again! I have missed all my regulars and can’t wait to catch up with them all - and to meet all the awesome new swappers that have already booked in.

“All the local businesses have done such a fab job of being able to open their doors again - let’s give them all our support and keep on shopping local where we can.”

AKR Fitness

“Our mission at AKR is energising life, together - and we do that best in-person, in the gym where there’s a motivational atmosphere and peers to support each other.

“We have of course been serving our members throughout lockdown, but living rooms are for Netflix, not working out! It’s been hard for many people, some are inevitably feeling a little guilt and shame about falling off track with their health and fitness and many are experiencing some social anxiety about stepping back into the world again.

“AKR is like no other in providing a safe and supportive place for people to regain their health, their fitness and their confidence. So we’re delighted to be up and running again and making a difference!”

Linton & Mac

“We were so excited to reopen, especially after making a few changes to the salon interiors. There’s been such a lovely buzz in the salon since opening on the 5th and it’s feeling super busy - but a lot of good vibes for sure, and plenty of ladies and gents happy to be getting their hair sorted at last!

“We felt a lot more prepared for this reopening than the last time, the team have felt more at ease with what to expect and I think we were just all so desperate to get stuck back to doing what we love!

“We can’t wait for all of our neighbours to reopen and see the city come alive again! It’s so important to us to support local businesses surrounding us, as without them it will be very soulless here. We need the high street to be buzzing again!”


“Opening SOUL over the last few weeks has been brilliant! It’s great to see familiar faces in the beer garden once again despite the weather! We are looking forward to the next stage where we can open up our newly refurbished indoor area for drinks and food as soon as we are able to. It’s also been so great to see so many people supporting local businesses throughout the city, this is so important, especially for a family run businesslike PBDevco.”

Avenue 23

“We were super excited to open up and welcome everyone to our new sister salon Escape @ Avenue 23 on the 26th of April. Designing and renovating the salon has been the highlight of our year so far and couldn’t wait to start up again and show off all our hard work.

“The support we have received during these uncertain times has been incredible, and being able to expand the salon despite all the setbacks of lockdown restrictions has shown us that nothing is impossible!”

The BrowHouz

“We reopened on Monday 26th April and as a team, we were all so excited to get back into the salon and catch up with all of our clients! This lockdown has been a long 4 months, during which we have aimed to stay positive and develop our skills as much as possible so that the business could hit the ground running and continue to grow once we reopened.

“It is so important for all of us to show support in any form possible to the local businesses, especially as we all get back on our feet. The city has changed in the last year, in regards to so many businesses having to close down permanently, so this is our opportunity to help rebuild and strengthen our sense of community within Aberdeen.”

Got a story? We want to hear from you! If you’re a local business owner with an update to share, you can submit your story here

The Cleavin Barber Club SOUL The BrowHouz Avenue 23 Linton & Mac AKR Fitness Juniper Swish Swish Bish

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