Making a change in the community, one haircut at a timecsudhbulletin October 28, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Destiny Torres
Ramiro Acevedo knows all too well how easy it is to lose one’s head growing up in a rough neighborhood in South Los Angeles. Make the wrong choice or fall in with the wrong crowd and your life’s course might drastically change.
That’s why the CSUDH junior is determined to try to make a difference for the youth in his community. And he’s doing it one haircut at a time.
Acevedo owns Quality Content Barbers, an independently owned barbershop that he operates out of his bedroom. It may not be as spacious as most barber shops, but Acevedo prides himself on guaranteeing it as a chill spot where patrons can have some laughs and a fresh cut. He says it’s a place where you can express yourself, kick back and forget the outside world even for just a little while.
A business entrepreneurship major, Acevedo said he had no idea that a side job he picked up just to make some extra money would ultimately become a passion.
Three years ago, he developed an interest in learning how to cut hair after spending his spare time at his local barbershop because he enjoyed the friendly environment. Spending time with the people there was his chosen method of staying out of trouble. He found helping out to be an easy way to make money on the side while he finished high school. This helped him become more independent and provide for his family. But, mostly, he really liked the work.
“It was always chill and I was like, ‘damn, I can see myself doing this,’” Acevedo said.
Acevedo started learning the trade by shadowing other barbers, watching tutorials on YouTube and later investing in a class that further improved his skills. He turned his bedroom into his personal barbershop where his clients regularly go to get their haircut and have good conversations.
“I have a kind of bunk bed with just the top, so I sleep up there and my barbershop is set up on the bottom,” Acevedo said.
Thanks to his use of social media and word of mouth from his clients, QCB started growing faster than Acevedo could have dreamed.
“I would have never thought it could have that type of feedback,” Acevedo said.
Growing up in South LA with his parents and two older sisters, Acevedo was aware at an early age how easy it was for the youths in his community to fall into dangerous habits and activities. After establishing himself as a barber, he looked for ways to give back to his community and keep young men concentrated in school to pursue a higher education.
Acevedo took to his Instagram to announce that he would give a free haircut to high school students who maintained straight A’s. He hoped this could serve as an incentive to keep teens focused on their education and not on the negative distractions around them. Having had a few clients go to him with a perfect report card, Acevedo sees the influence he has on the young men of his community.
“It’s so easy for kids to fall into the wrong steps or get into gang activity and drug violence,” Acevedo said. “I try to influence them to see the greater purpose in education and to do well.”
Balancing school, work and social life has been his biggest challenge. However, he has learned to arrange his schedule so he can stay focused on schoolwork and continue to grow his brand.
After college, Acevedo plans to attend barber school and open up a shop in a space a little less cramped than his bedroom. In the future, the young barber wants to open several shops mainly in the L.A. LA area and continue giving back to his community by opening his own barber school. Acevedo said he wants to lead by example, showing other young people in his neighborhood that there are fulfilling ways to make money legally.
By creating and cultivating personal connections with his clients, he hopes the biggest takeaway from his work is that he cares.
“I want them to know that I care,” Acevedo said. “I want them to go out there and feel confident.”
Follow Ramiro Acevedo on Instagram @qualitycontentbarber to see his work.