Mama Africa Frisør og Butikk is not like other hair salons. Here you can get a haircut, shop for goods, and play a round of billiards.
– Yes, we are a little different, admits Awet Fessehaye, who will run the unique place together with his wife Miriam Gezae.In Grønnegata 55, where there used to be an office interior design store, the hair salon Mama Africa Frisør og Butikk has now moved in.
In the past, the hair salon was probably one of Hamar’s best-kept secrets.
– We were located at the back of a building in Bekkegata. No one saw us. And our room was very small, says Fessehaye.
It was also a unique place because the couple started up the cafe Mama Africa, which made up one-half of the premises.
Café and hairdresser in the same premises.
– The café will live on, but will now have larger premises. It goes well and a lot of people come there, says Fessehaye about the restaurant which for over a year has aimed to serve exotic Ethiopian and Eritrean food, as well as desserts, sandwiches, toast, and exciting juices.
Now they have taken the hair salon to Grønnegata. And in addition, they have used the opportunity to create a hair salon that is really something completely for itself.
– We have focused on bringing in a lot of products for men and women. Now we can, among other things, offer braiding with different colors, which is very popular with our customers. Fessehaye is from Eritrea.
– Most of our customers are from Norway, but we also have a large proportion of customers who come from Africa.
Therefore, he and his wife have taken in a lot of African goods that are sold in the hair salon.
The shelves are filled with African spices and coffee and kitchen utensils.
On its own, there is a pool table. There is a good atmosphere when Asmerom Gidiom and Beltsom Meles play with their hands.
– Instead of getting bored while waiting, you have the opportunity to play a round of billiards. It is called Carambole and is very popular in Italy and Spain. There we are unique in Hamar, says Fessehaye and smiles.
Outside the window, there is a lot of traffic. It gives expectations of more to do:
– We are very happy with the location and the view out to the street. Customers find us easier here, says Fessehaye, who says that they have had a good start since the opening last week.
– You are 27 years old and have established a hair salon and café. Fun to be a young entrepreneur?
– Yes, it’s fun to do business. I have been in Norway for six years and otherwise drive and take training to become a plumber.
Café, hairdresser, or plumber: What should you invest in?
– Well. It’s fun to do everything.