Barbershop aims to elevate culture and cultivate trust

by Andrew Alonzo | [email protected]

On the outskirts of Claremont Village, near the Indian Hill Boulevard crossing, residents once frequented a barber shop called The Statesman Barber Lounge. While the boutique closed in March 2021, the barber practices that once occupied the unit remain thanks to its last tenant, Clips on 66.

LISTEN TO THE STORY

The boutique is owned and operated by Latin American natives Josue Navarro and David Nunez, and is still in its infancy in Claremont, having opened in mid-October. In addition to offering the standard men’s haircut, Nunez, Navarro and the other barbers in the shop offer mustache, eyebrow and beard care, line-ups, bleaching and tinting services. , texturing and more, with each cut ending with a hot towel treatment.

According to Navarro, the co-owner of the Claremont store, Clips on 66 aims to “elevate the whole culture of barbering” and wants to “cultivate confidence” among young people in Claremont through brotherly haircuts and advice for up-and-coming barbers. .

“There are a lot of students here. I see a lot of high school kids walking back and forth, I just want it to be a safe haven for them,” Navarro said. “[Our] the mission statement pretty much says it all. We want to satisfy the community. We want to meet the needs of the young, middle and older generation. We just want to touch as many lives as possible in a positive way.

The company’s mission is to “restore professionalism and passion in barber culture to build trust for the creation of a stronger community,” according to Nunez.

“I feel like barbers have a bad reputation[utation] … like drinking, swearing, smoking at work. We’re not about that,” Navarro added. “We just want to be as professional as possible and just want to elevate our craft…and our barber job title.”

The Claremont store is Clips’ second location on 66, with the first in Rancho Cucamonga at 9116 Foothill Boulevard. Although it’s rather obvious, the iconic Route 66 is where the barbershop gets its name.

This stretch of sidewalk from Chicago to Santa Monica is also what barbers hope to conquer with their business, according to Rancho Cucamonga store owner Duane Houston.

“The original idea was to build this franchise along Route 66. We decided that wasn’t the most doable thing, so…we said we’d look into that a bit” , Houston said. “We still don’t want to stray too far from that… Hopefully we can reach Santa Monta and all parts of the country to Chicago and New York. Who knows?

“Right now, a five-year plan is probably to build maybe three or four more stores heading to Santa Monica,” Houston said.

Nunez and Houston are from Rancho Cucamonga and both became self-taught barbers in their early teens. The three barbers met and received proper training at another Rancho barbershop, Big Mike’s.

Once they became adept at barbering and built a small support group in their hometown, Nunez and Houston opened the first 66 Clips on September 9, 2017 and employed Navarro “in the blink of an eye.” .

“We all saw something in each other when it came to work ethic, talent and most importantly character. I think we have a character-[run] business,” Houston said.

Four years after opening their first location, Clips on 66 opened in Claremont. While most of the store’s clientele is still based in Rancho Cucamonga, Nunez said the city of trees has always been on the small business radar.

“[A Claremont store] was always kind of the plan when we decided we were going to mark using Route 66. We kind of decided we wanted to go west and one town that I always thought was cool and looked up to was Claremont,” Nunez said. “[Claremont] was the next target for us.

As the minority-owned and operated business grows over the years, the barbers’ plan is to either be bought out by a larger holding company or become their own iconic commercial brand. Whichever comes first

“This [shop] is like a springboard to open more stores,” Nunez said. “We are not at that level yet but [a holding company] going to have like a stake in this company and the other company, a part of that if that makes sense, a percentage.

Houston echoed a similar message, but admitted it would still come at a huge cost to fulfill the company’s dream of locating its chain of hair salons along California’s most notable freeway. Fortunately, Clips on 66 got off to a good start, building two stores in just four years.

“We want to do things to have an impact,” Houston said of the venture. “Clips on 66…it’s a passion project. None of this is out of greed.

The future bodes well for Clips on 66 as the company has been able to weather the curve of COVID-19 business closures, according to Nunez.

Nunez, co-owner of both sites and co-founder of Clips on 66, has a stake in both stores. Houston, the other co-founder, currently oversees services at the original location while Navarro and Nunez run the Claremont location in its early days.

Clips on 66 in Claremont is located at 1 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Unit 105. For more information or to make an appointment, call (909) 447-0602 or visit www.clipson66.com. On weekdays, students can take advantage of a five-dollar student discount. New customers can enter the code “New20” on the store’s mobile app to receive 20% off their first haircut.

Comments are closed.