by Julius Medrano
After developing his vocational passion at a young age, Jonathan Arellano left JPCatholic five years ago to join the family business at The Barber Parlor on Grand Ave.
Cutting hair has been a family business since the days of his mother and aunts. “They all followed each other, and that’s how she [my mother] got into it. She did it for the sake of having a job back then because it was kind of hard for us. It was something that she could depend on and do work, while also working in a factory,” said Jonathan. At first, he was not particularly interested in the business, even though he was surrounded by it. He expressed, “I didn’t want to do it because I was so busy with school. My passion before was culinary arts and psychology.”
His mother kept urging him to go to barber school, and finally yet reluctantly, he took the opportunity to learn the skill. He eventually fell in love with the trade. He said, “It wasn’t until I went to school and learned about the history of barbering. I could say that’s when I began to grow an appreciation for the trade of haircutting. It was something that I could get into, the art behind it, the detailed work. Someone like me who will give everything to a craft…it was perfect for me.” From then on, Jonathan became a licensed barber and began working next door from his mother’s salon.
Throughout his years of cutting hair, there have been a lot of changes in his personal life that have altered the way he views his job as a barber. Before he was married, he had decided to pursue a business degree at John Paul the Great Catholic University. The classes would have been beneficial for understanding how to run his business, but he had ultimately opted out after one quarter in order to work full-time as a barber. As the only barber, he saw an increase in clientele as he made himself more available to them.
At first, the job was all about the craft and the work that he was putting into his haircuts. He said, “In the beginning, I did it for the sake of the trade of haircutting. I liked doing the haircut, the clippers, the straight razor shaves. It’s such an intricate service that looks so simple, but a lot goes into it.” After a couple years, he has found another reason why he cuts hair. Jonathan states, “Now I’ve grown to answer that question better, and it’s because of the clients. The clients make the shop. If it’s not for the clients, I don’t have a business. I don’t have a trade to practice on. I don’t have anything to show off my skills on. Having them is really great because there are all walks of life that walk in here.”
The work he puts into his craft helps him build better relationships with his clients. They do not just walk in and out, but rather they connect with him as they build a relationship. Jonathan stated “I don’t treat them like other places or professionals, like they’re another number. But for me, they have names. They got their backgrounds. They got their history with me. It’s just another friend, another person I know, and they’re just happy and comfortable in that sense.”
His clients get haircuts from him for special occasions, and he loves being a part of that memory. “I think that one of the things that I like is that I am there in those moments, like their special moments, whether it’s like their birthdays, or getting married, or whatever it is. I’m not there directly, but every time they come in for those things, I will always know, for a part of that time, that they were here,” said Jonathan.
His clients can expect to have this close-knitted relationship with him, but nonetheless, it still comes down to his skills at barbering. What make him a quality barber is the results of his haircuts. “Attention. Attention to detail, time, and conversation. Listening to them. They like to come to because of my haircuts, but for one, it’s very casual,” he said. This extra dedication for precision and attention places his barbershop above the other hair salons.
Aside from his mother, Jonathan is not in the business due to financial reasons. He stated that he just wants customers to be able to “come to a place that’s very homegrown, very about the community . . . I’m really out here to create relationships with clients, create experiences, and something they don’t forget so that [it] makes them want to come back. Money comes and goes, but relationships, memories, and experiences are really what make you different.”
Jonathan offers a special discount to students at JPCatholic. Pay $10 for your next haircut at the Barber Parlor.
The Barber Parlor
325 E Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025 (760) 670-8034