Jose Vazquez is the founder of The Gent’s Cuts & Shaves Club, an innovative business that brings the barbershop to you.
As a mobile barbershop owner, Jose is able to provide upscale services including haircuts, beard and shave offerings, and more in a safe environment.
In our Q&A, we learn more about his journey of becoming a barber and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a barber?
Well, it started a long time ago. My father became a cosmetologist when I was a year old. I remember going to the salon and quickly learning not to touch a curling iron. However, I didn’t get into this world right away. I started working for my stepfather who was a businessman.
Although I learned a lot, I didn’t feel passionate about it so I decided to attend cosmetology school like my dad. I felt at home. The school I went to had a master barber instructor. He really wasn’t supposed to be teaching there, but I was glad he did. My dad, who was a master stylist, gave me many pointers when it came to being a stylist but he didn’t really know barbering.
I wanted to be well-rounded in both worlds which helped me grow quickly in the industry. So, after 10 years of doing something I wasn’t motivated to do, I finally found something I loved.
I started working at a place called Roosters Men’s Grooming Center where I managed and helped grow the company for a decade.
How did the idea for The Gents Cuts & Shaves Club come to be?
COVID impacted the Roosters store and the owner decided to sell the business. Shortly thereafter I decided to go out on my own.
However, locations to rent nearby were limited and so I was forced to think outside the box. Then I thought of a vehicle but it would have to be big enough so that people can stand straight up in them.
That’s when I settled on the idea of converting a Mercedes Sprinter Van into a mobile barbershop. It took five months but with help from friends and family, we did it!
What are some benefits of a mobile barbershop for anyone who’s unfamiliar?
It offers convenience for the busy professional.
Instead of driving to a shop, the barbershop comes to you with complete upscale services most of which include hot towels.
I also offer beard trim and shaving services for those who have a little bit of time for a relaxing experience.
A mobile barbershop also offers privacy which is hard to find in a salon setting.
I want to point out that this concept isn’t limited to only professionals.
Over the last 10 years, I have served University of Tampa students as well. Some have now graduated and mentioned that while they were in school they didn’t have a car and would have to Uber to their appointment with me. That gave me even more motivation to build my mobile shop and to bring the experience to them at a discounted cost.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far as a business owner?
My biggest lesson is don’t take anything for granted and don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself.
As a business owner, you need to have an appreciation for people and yourself.
What’s the best piece of advice (career or life) you’ve ever received?
My parents would tell me to keep pushing to become a better version of myself.
Never stop growing and when things seem impossible focus on the finish line, not on the things in between.