Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 36

small business matters

A Cut Above:

The Story Behind
First Choice Barbershop
Ellen Albright, Greater Reading Chamber

W

hat is the one place you can think of throughout history
that has provided a forum for socializing with others
in a relaxed, diverse environment? A place where
generations collide, and friendly debates may occur over sports, life,
love, and politics? You may be thinking of a coffee shop, local bar,
or a cozy restaurant, but for this article - we're going to focus on
the experience of visiting a true barbershop. A classic barbershop
will not just provide great shaves, shape-ups, or most recently - the
popular comeback of the craft beard or mustache. Rather, these
shops create a culture of (predominantly male) socialization that
doesn't exist in many other establishments today. Here, the barbers
set the tone for an experience, not just a haircut. Stories are swapped
not just between the barbers themselves, but incorporate customer
participation - allowing for a dialogue that engages the entire shop.
And if you listen closely enough - the unique stories of how these shop
owners came to be may just surface. Luckily, the barbers you'll meet
in this story told their story to just the right person sitting in their
barber chair, and from there - dreams became a reality.
Meet Albert and Manny Hernandez, brothers with a shared
passion for men's hair services. Although their paths have been
very different throughout their lives, their bond has always been
strong. Serving as advisors to each other, supporting each other's
hopes, and advocating for one another despite challenges has always
remained a constant for the duo. So it comes as no surprise that as
their careers evolved, so did their dreams to do more! As you follow
their story to success below, their unwavering entrepreneurial spirit
and perseverance will truly be inspirational.

36 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2017

Albert
Hernandez

So, as if you were sitting in the barber chair yourself, sit back, relax,
and take in the story of how this local barbershop got its start!
Growing up in New York City, Albert and Manny Hernandez
always had each other's best interest at heart. Manny was the older
of the two brothers, and went to Barber School first. As the "pioneer"
of the two brothers, he really enjoyed his experience going to Barber
School, and suggested Albert do the same. Albert had different plans,
however. He wanted to go to college for hospitality, and ultimately
wanted to become - drumroll - a flight attendant, based on his love
for traveling. He began school at LaGuardia Community College,
but soon he and his family moved to the Reading area. Once arriving
in Reading, Albert began working at various jobs, and decided he
no longer wanted to pursue his degree. After making this decision,
Manny's influence finally wore on Albert to go to Barber School
himself. And, looking back - he wouldn't have had this path any
other way.
Once Albert graduated Barber School, he began at a small shop
in Reading and really immersed himself in the trade. Simultaneously,
Manny was working at a separate shop back in New York. After
about one year, Albert found himself presented with an opportunity
to join a larger shop in West Reading based on a recommendation
from a peer in the industry. Once joining this team, Albert knew
the shop would also be a good fit for Manny, who was willing to
move to Reading for the right job. As soon as a position opened
up, Manny interviewed and within a short period of time - both
Hernandez brothers were under one roof! The brothers gained years
of experience at this shop, and truly enjoyed the experience they



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017

Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 1
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 2
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 3
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 4
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 5
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 6
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Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 63
Greater Reading Chamber Commerce Quarterly Summer 2017 - 64
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
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