When Bobby’s Hair and Cosmetics first opened in Oslo in 1992, the entire stock sold out in four hours. It was Norway's first Afro hair and body care specialist shop. Over the years, the business grew and Bobby’s has boomed, becoming Norway’s ‘leading lounge for anti-permanent’ according to their website.
Bobby's is still a family owned and operated enterprise led by Ram “Bobby” Sharma. He entered the business cautiously, and only after many pleas from his friends at the Caribbean Culture Club on Karl Johans gate:
So many of my friends wanted me to start importing these products. There were a lot of people from the US stationed here because of NATO at the time and I knew many of them through the club.
Bobby travelled to the US to do some research for his business and was shocked to find a huge market. He also sent some 500 handwritten letters to everyone he thought might be interested in his products before the launch and outgrew the 20m² space in Grensen the day he opened. Bobby’s has moved several times since, landing on Dronningens gate in 2008.
The best thing about his job is getting to know people from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. He knows the street well, especially from the many daily walks with his little Jack Russell terrier.