Inspiring Interview with Jean Carlos Vargas, Owner of The Ridgewood Barbers
What an inspiration it has been to have met Jean Carlos Vargas, owner of The Ridgewood Barbers. Jean came to Queens, New York from Dominican Republic at the age of five and grew up watching his hairstylist mother run her own business. With that experience, it was only natural that he started his own career in her salon. Graduating at the top of his class in the American Barber Institute in Manhattan, to owning one of the favorite barber shops in Ridgewood, Queens. Jean is the perfect example of someone that had a dream and just went for it and is now living his best life. I'm sure you would agree from reading this interview that he is an inspiration to us all, older and younger generation. The customer service in his place is welcoming and professional. When I arrived the seats were crowded with children getting their shape ups. That says a lot about the service.
What do you remember about going to the barber as a kid?
As a kid I don't really have to many memories, because my mom used to be a hairstylist, well not used to be she is. She would always cut my hair so I didn't really have experiences in the barber shop.
So when was the first time you ever went to a barber shop?
I would say, I was ten years old and she was usually too busy, so she took me and my brother to the barber shop. It was good, it was definitely better than those haircuts that your mom wants to give you, you know the comb over.
What inspired you to become a barber and then owner?
That, I honestly I don't know the answer to, because I remember not too long ago. I have eleven years into being a barber and recently like a year and a half ago I asked my mom was the idea of me going to barber school yours or mine and she was like no that was you. I don't know I guess it just came naturally, because she's a hairstylist, so I guess it's in my blood.
Where or how did you learn your skill?
I took a two month course and I finished within a month ahead of my class. They had me teaching the class after a while.
Are there any trends you’re noticing for men’s grooming these days?
Throughout the years you get the designs, you get fades, you get comb overs. Comb overs just finish dying out. Now it's mostly fades and beards. Beards are making a come back.
What’s the craziest thing you've ever seen in your years in barber shops?
Theres a lot of crazy things you see, but as far as hairstyles, I had a guy come in once, he had an afro. He wanted half bald, half afro. He had a beard and he wanted the side with the afro to be bald and the other side to have the beard. So bald afro, bald beard.
He was probably doing a show.
He had a poncho. (laughter)
Who’s your style icon?
There's a lot, I have a lot of friends that their in the industry and they are known for that. People like Jovan Figueroa, Jose CEO and Tyrik Jackson are some of the people that are known for what they do.
If the opportunity opened up, which celebrity would you love to style on a regular and if so have you styled any?
I'm a big sports fanatic, so anybody from the NY Knicks, Saint Louis Cardinals, NY Yankees, NY Mets and the NY Giants. What other talents do you have?
I play baseball, softball and I actually have a team for the barber shop, we play in Highland Park on the weekends and week nights.
Do you have anything coming up that we should look out for or any future goals?
As of now I don't have anything coming up, but theres a barber shop convention coming up in June. I just finished coming from an expo at the Connecticut Convention Center. Which we showcased in. We won The Line Up NYC trophy, it's in the shop.
We loved this interview. Thank you Jean!
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The Ridgewood Barbers are located on 993 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood New York Open at 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Monday thru Saturday.
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