You might say that I started cutting hair by accident many years ago when my mom bought me my first haircutting machine (a Wahl original). She was tired of paying for my weekly haircuts after I lost my first job. I was used to “getting fresh” every week, but we barely had enough to survive let alone for haircuts. So I became resourceful and began cutting people’s hair outside of our apartment for free at first, but as I improved I began to charge for my work. In time, I was able to not only pay for my own haircuts but I was also able to support my newborn son. I was just seventeen years old!
I put myself through two and a half years at Rutgers University and then moved to the Dominican Republic for a short while. It was there that I entered barber school and earned my degree. When I returned to the United States, there were two things uppermost in my mind: First, supporting my son would be my number one priority. Second, I knew I was going to open my own shop and it would be in the suburbs.
I came across this great place totally at random, and I knew I could make it work. But I was scared. I had invested my entire life’s savings—which wasn’t much—and used all my credit cards to build “The Cut Block”. I didn’t know what to expect or if I was going to succeed. But I knew that I would give it my all—if not for me, for my family.
One thing I did know for sure: my skills as a barber were exclusive within Woodridge and Bergen County. In the beginning I just wasn’t sure if the community would accept an outsider like me. In 2017, I officially opened my doors after three months of struggling to stay above water. I knew what I wanted to accomplish as a barber in Woodridge. I wanted to give the community something other than the generic “Super Cuts” and “Great Clips” style haircuts that were so common. To my surprise, I managed to build something bigger than those places. I built a place that felt more like home to my clients and staff barbers. The Cut Block became a place where barbers from troubled environments could build a better life for themselves and their families. You could say I built a kind of sanctuary where everyone who stops by feels wanted and appreciated. Man, when you love what you do you don’t work a day in your life.