Introduce an indie - Aretê

A weekly spotlight on the fabulous Nottingham Independents who make our city unique.

Aretê – (pronounced ah-reh-tey) blends classic barbering with contemporary men’s hairdressing and skin care. Found in Hockley on Heathcoat Street, this grooming parlour, with an exterior inspired by the beautiful Gucci Osteria in Florence, certainly catches your eye. With an interior just as stunning and a team of grooming specialists focused on bringing your identity to life, you are in for a truly memorable experience. We caught up with one half of the Aretê duo, Josh, to ask a few questions about the people behind the brand.

The team behind the salon have strong values that originate from eras passed. The word Aretê, originates from ancient Greece and was perceived as meaning ‘excellence of any kind’. Aristotle defined Aretê as not only of excellence in a man but also described it as a life in the pursuit of it. The refined, lively atmosphere carefully curated by the Aretê team certainly enlivens their commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

Josh and Matt, the barbers behind the brand, are committed to style and their ensembles regularly turn heads. They say “If you’re leaving the house today dress like you’re going to meet the love of your life or your worst enemy”.  Their style icons range from celebrated fashion designer, creative director and Oscar Academy nominee Tom Ford who is often seen immaculately dressed in sharp suits, to lead vocalist and method actor Jared Leto with his love of quirky, maximalist fashion and trademark dark mane (more prominent in recent years as he concentrates on achieving Rock God status).

If you want to know more about who inspires them, the Aretê website hosts a series of blogs by Josh and Matt, which make for excellent reading. One of our favourite reads was a comprehensive guide to the modern man’s life in the pursuit of excellence. Points included:

• There is always another level. Never settle.

• Analyse your day before you get into bed. What did you do that day that didn’t abide to your values? Improve on them tomorrow.

The latter reminds us of Nottingham icon Sir Paul Smith, who lives by the motto “Tomorrow is a new beginning”, and he hasn’t done too bad for himself! 


Hey Josh, can you tell us about your background?

"Funnily enough we (Josh and Matt) actually went to school together, so we’ve been friends since we were teenagers. We both entered the barbering industry around 8 years ago and have worked alongside one another at various barbershops across Nottingham before starting Aretê. We spent part of our careers working at a barber training academy which has helped us refine our skills". 


How did you come to start and/or own the business? 

"We launched in 2017 after noticing a gap in the market for what we offer. Our objective is to blur the lines between a hair salon and a barbershop by offering luxury salon service and experience through attention to detail on the customer journey but still offer traditional barbering services alongside more contemporary men’s hairdressing".

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

"A typical day at work for us starts around 8am. We both arrive early to get the shop cleaned and prepared for guests. Most days we’re fully booked, so from 9am onwards we take care of clients and deliver a variety of services from haircuts to luxury facial treatments. Friends and clients come and go throughout the day saying hello as they pass by or stopping for a coffee and a bit of a laugh, so we aim to keep everyone involved in group discussions and share the fun".


What is your favourite service that Aretê offer?

"The top service we offer is a haircut and beard design. That’s a combination of a haircut, beard trim, luxury hot towel shave and facial treatment. It’s basically the full works, a two and a half hour pampering session where guests can truly relax and enjoy the very best that we have to offer". 


Finally, what is your ideal day out in Nottingham like?

"An ideal day out in Nottingham for us usually consists of floating around the shops looking for any interesting items to add to the wardrobe followed by a good catch up with friends over a coffee or a few drinks in some of our favourite restaurants and bars".

"A solid favourite of ours is Sans Patrie at the top of canning circus. Great food and great atmosphere. We’re also guilty of having a little bat around Glory Holes adult themed mini golf after work sometimes. It’s also always great to pop in and see our friends at Gigi Bottega and talk up- coming fashion trends".


Thanks Josh! 


If you’d like to check out more of Nottingham, use our Directory to plan your day.


Instagram: @arete.mens

Facebook: @aretemens


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