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Hair it is: New barber shop opens in downtown Worthington

WORTHINGTON -- A dream came true Thursday morning as Jesus Ordaz and Victor Sanchez inaugurated their new business, New Generation Barbershop, in downtown Worthington.

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Jesus Ordaz cuts the ribbon next to Victor Sanchez on Thursday morning at New Generation Barbershop. Along with them are Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce ambassadors Jennifer Moran, Jeff Rotert, Marty Rickers, Sharon Lynn, Ken Moser, Tanya Wagner, Josh Miller, Trevor Nickel, Jason Vote and Kristine Correll. (Martina Baca/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- A dream came true Thursday morning as Jesus Ordaz and Victor Sanchez inaugurated their new business, New Generation Barbershop, in downtown Worthington.

  Ordaz, 19, and Sanchez, 27, had been dreaming of this day for many years.

  Ordaz gave his first haircut when he was 13 years-old, and although it didn’t go quite as planned, he’s known since then that he wanted to be a barber.

  “When I was younger my mom used to cut hair, so she had some clippers laying around and one day I just felt like being a barber and I cut my brother’s hair,” Ordaz said. “In my opinion, it didn't came out too badly, but he told me to never cut his hair again.”

  Ever since then, Ordaz couldn't put the clippers and the razor down.

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  “I just started practicing on friends and then on friends of friends, and little by little I started evolving and eventually I went to school for it,” he explained.

  Although Ordaz had always enjoyed cutting hair, he never considered pursuing a career in barbering. Instead, he wanted to enroll in college to become a plumber.

  However, his plan fell through the cracks.

  “I was about to go to St. Paul College, but then, when I turned in an application, I sent it to the wrong address and the deadline passed,” Ordaz said. “So I had to find another thing to do at the last minute.”

  Ordaz not only felt he had disappointed himself, but was afraid he’d also let down his family. That's when he came up with the idea to follow his passion and enrolled in barber school.

  Sanchez, a native of El Salvador, came to Worthington for the first time in 2006. He grew frustrated because he was unable to find a barber who would cut his hair just the way he wanted and decided to buy his own razor. He started cutting not only his own hair, but that of his family and friends, in his garage, his bathroom and even outside his home.

  “Little by little I started falling in love with the barber industry,” Sanchez said. “I started watching YouTube and seeing celebrity barbers flying to different places and making a lot of money… and just having a great time.”

  Sanchez wanted to open his own barber shop after graduating from high school in 2010, but his dream seemed to disappear as he investigated the cost of barber school. However, that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream.

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  “I didn't have a car, I didn't have money and you have to move to Minneapolis to go to barber school, but I worked and worked for five years and I saved all my money and bought my first car. … I got everything set up and I quit my job and went to barbering school,” Sanchez recalled.

  Barbering school was where Ordaz and Sanchez really connected, even though they already knew each other from soccer games. Sanchez would come to Ordaz’s grandparents ‘store in downtown Worthington every now and then, but they didn’t know they shared the same passion for trimming beards and cutting hair.

  Since the first day of class, Ordaz knew he wanted to open his own barber shop. He approached Sanchez and told him about his goal.

  Sanchez only had a couple of months left of school when Ordaz started classes, and as his future business partner, Sanchez wanted to make sure to help Ordaz to sharpen his skills.

  “Victor had a huge impact on my career because he taught me a lot about how to adjust the tools and different techniques,” Ordaz said. “Just seeing him motivated me to become better.”

  Both young men didn’t only share the same passion, but they also wanted to go back to their community and open the barber shop there.

  “Before I went to school I told myself, ‘You are going to come back to town and help out the community,” Sanchez said. “Barbers wanted me to go work over there (Minneapolis), but no, this is my town and this is our cave, and we need get things happen over here.”

  Ordaz and Sanchez worked day and night to remodel what used to be an old gym in the basement of Ordaz’s grandparents’ business into a modern barbershop.

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  “I never thought this day would happen,” Ordaz said. “To be honest, I never thought one day  I  would wake up and want to go to work. You don't find many people who are excited to go to work, but this whole experience has made me want to be here even more than home.”

  Neither Sanchez nor Ordaz were able to sleep the day before the opening day -- not only because they stayed up up until 4 a.m. getting everything ready, but because of their excitement.

  “I haven't been able to sleep for a week … because blood is pumping hard,” Sanchez said. “I am very excited and happy. We have some ideas to put on some great work.”

  Ordaz and Sanchez hope to be an inspiration for future generations and encourage them to explore the world of trimming and cutting.

  “It feels really great,” Sanchez said. “One of the things that I told Jesus is that we should definitely motivate not only Hispanics, but everybody. A lot of people don't know about the barber industry and we want to teach them; we what them to get motivated.”

  Ordaz is grateful that his family has been next to him and showing support through the whole process.  

  “They play a huge role in my life and they have helped me in everything while I was in school,” Ordaz said. “They are my rock. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

  Ana Maria and Jesus Ordaz have been witness to all the effort their son and Sanchez have put into the project. They couldn't feel prouder.

 

“I feel very proud about all the things he and Victor have accomplished,” Ana Maria said. “ We have always supported him, so I just want to tell him to keep his head up and keep moving forward.”

  Ordaz is excited to start his career as a barber and cannot help but think of what the future holds for him and his cave.

  “This is our first ribbon cutting, but I don’t plan on it being the last one,” Ordaz said. “We are definitely going to be expanding in the future, opening up different venues and businesses, but meanwhile we are going to be in this little cave and putting our minds to work.”

  New Generation Barbershop is located in 423 10th St.

 

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Jesus Ordaz cuts the hair of his first client on Thursday morning. (Martina Baca/Daily Globe)

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