By Maureen Werther
Lamont Washington has two important talents: He knows hair cutting and he knows marketing. His new business, TruCutz Barbershop, celebrated its opening on May 6 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renovated building at 44 Jefferson St. in Saratoga Springs.
Since then, he said he has seen his new business grow day by day.
Washington didn’t start out with the expectation of becoming a barber. As a marketing major at SUNY Brockport, he started cutting his fraternity brothers’ hair and discovered he was pretty good at it. Realizing that it was a way for him to earn extra cash while attending school, he asked the owner of a local barbershop if he could use one of the empty chairs. The shop owner, who had no employees at the time, agreed.
“After watching me cut hair, the barber realized that I was pretty good at it,” said Washington. “It worked out well because the barber had nobody cutting hair in his shop at that point. He offered to train me, and I agreed and became his apprentice.”
Washington cut hair throughout his college career, continuing his apprenticeship and going on to obtain his master barber's license. By the time he completed his undergraduate studies and received a degree in marketing, he had already been cutting hair for six years.
When Washington returned home in 2015, he began looking for marketing positions in the area. Not finding anything that he was interested in pursuing, Washington got a loan from his family and decided to pursue a career as a barber instead.
"I saw the property on Jefferson Street and knew the location would be a perfect place to open TruCutz," said Washington.
After a lot of hard work and a lot of marketing, TruCutz opened in early May and began attracting new customers immediately.
"I already had an established clientele, so we had customers from the time we opened the doors," he said. "We also started advertising in the local neighborhood newsletter for Jefferson and Vanderbilt Terrace, and we have flyers at Five Points and in the Rec Center. Plus, we do a lot of Facebook advertising."
TruCutz welcomes walk-ins and makes appointments. Washington has four part-time employees, with one person transitioning to full-time.
"In addition to haircuts, we offer hot towel shaves with straight-edge razors and we also do designs, like if kids want their sports number or logo on the side of their heads," said Washington.
TruCutz' hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. While they do not have a website up and running yet, they are on Facebook, where customers can get more information.