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Barber Club gives students fresh look, supplies for back to school
Barber Club Turlock free haircuts
Adrian Martinez gets a free haircut from Jairo Soto of Barber Club Turlock on Wednesday morning (CHRISTOPHER CORREA/The Journal).

Nearly every seat was taken at Barber Club Turlock on Wednesday morning as the shop offered free back-to-school haircuts for children ages 5 to 13 while also handing out free school supplies to students.

“We’ve done many events, but it’s never been a big community event like this,” said Barber Club Turlock co-owner Francisco Vargas. “We came up with the idea and I just posted it up last minute, and I didn’t really expect it to blow up like it did.”

Vargas explained that he posted a notice on Instagram less than a week out of the event, and that it achieved over 17,000 views and nearly 300 shares. And despite the minimal advertising, word of mouth led them to serve nearly 80 local children. In fact, they served over 40 in the first two hours of the six-hour event, with about 20 families waiting outside the shop before doors opened at 8 a.m.

“We noticed a trend in the barber industry where things have slowed down a bit. Usually when that happens, we try to pay attention to the market. Is it just a dead period? Is there something going on with the economy? And we noticed that people are just cutting back on spending,” Vargas said.

“People are really watching what they’re spending, so we realized that some people are going through some hard economic times right now with everything being so expensive. We just thought, why don’t we give back to the community? It’s always nice to give back when things are rough, not when things are good. This is a time where people can really use the help and it can make the biggest impact,” he continued.

Bryan Nolazco has been a barber with the shop for two years and said that he was all in on the idea of offering his services when it was first pitched to him and the rest of the staff.

“I was excited when I heard about the idea. It’s a great idea for us to give back to the community,” he said. “Realistically, I feel like we get to bond with the community the most because people are coming in everyday into the barbershop and connecting with us, so this is another way to do that. And seeing the smiles on kids’ faces is exciting. It makes me feel amazing and it makes my day.

School supplies were donated by Fiesta Auto Insurance and realtors Noe Carranza, Jose Cibrian and Yoana Bucio Mendoza.

“These are rough times for some people, and to be able to give them an opportunity to show up to school looking good, feeling confident and having the necessary school supplies, it’s an amazing feeling,” Vargas said. “This is definitely something we’re looking at doing again in the future.”