New designs on export markets

Andy Dodd of PHD, Tony Crane, managing director of Barber, Paul Betts and Wayne Thomas of EV, and James Dow of PHD
Andy Dodd of PHD, Tony Crane, managing director of Barber, Paul Betts and Wayne Thomas of EV, and James Dow of PHD
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TattooiSTS’ supplier Barber of Sheffield is planning to make an indelible mark on the world with the help of a multi-million pound investment.

The Chapeltown business, run by husband and wife team Tony and Stephanie Crane, says sales are already growing fast in Europe and the USA.

Now it aims to expand its operations and target new export markets with the backing of investors PHD Equity Partners and Enterprise Ventures, which runs the Coalfields Funds, established by the government to encourage entrepreneurship in England’s former coalfields.

Barber began life as a medical engineering company, designing and building plants for making medical needles and scalpel blades.

Nowadays it supplies a range of medical products to the veterinary, hospital, mortuary and funeral sectors, but, it’s Barber’s ‘body art’ products that account for the bulk of its turnover.

The company has become one of the UK’s largest suppliers of tattooing equipment and consumables and believes that growth in the popularity of having tattoos makes it an ideal time to expand further,

“This is a great opportunity for the business to move onto the next level,” said Tony Crane.

“The company has grown rapidly over the last few years and we felt this was an opportune moment to seek partners to allow us to make the most of its growth potential, particularly in overseas markets.”

Wayne Thomas, from Enterprise Ventures, said: “Barber has increased its turnover every year for the past ten years and still has plenty of opportunities for further growth.”