203 286-8973 203 286-6220 203 354-9781
135 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk, CT 06854
4 Monroe St, South Norwalk, CT 06854
79 S. Main St, South Norwalk, CT 06854
Even as a 14-year-old boy growing up on the farm in the Dominican Republic, I knew I wanted to be a professional barber. My parents were my role models. My father taught me everything he knew about being a barber. My mother taught me to be a disciplined and responsible person. As a barber on the farm, I cut hair on a barter system. However, six years later when I moved to the city, I began to charge for my haircuts.
After I moved to the city, I wasn’t earning enough money to survive so at age 25, I moved to Puerto Rico. When I arrived in Puerto Rico, my earnings improved. My financial stability grew, as did my skills as a businessman. Making a good living is important, but I always dreamed of creating opportunities for other people.
Six years later, I move to America. I didn’t speak English, but I came to America to expand my business knowledge.
Although I had always provided opportunities for others, I increased this goal dramatically-through the creation of an apprenticeship program for barbers. Most people don’t realize it cost between - $8,000 to $20,000. to attend classes and become a licensed barber. A lot of folks may have the skills, but they may not have the financial ability to achieve dreams. When we wrote the apprenticeship proposal, we gave people the chance to work in a barbershop and after they logged 2000 hours, they would be eligible to take the licensing exam. One of the happiest days in my life was the day this proposal became a law!
I attended the American Beauty Academy in Maryland to study the barbering business and to learn English. I achieved both of these goals. When I finished school, I accept a position in a prestigious salon in Maryland. I was the manager of 15 -20 people. I really enjoyed working as a manager, but I felt I needed to leave to create my own company – my own salon. I moved to Connecticut in 2008. When I came to Norwalk, I visited a number of barbershops in the city. I wanted a shop that was different from the barbershops in Norwalk. When the opportunity came to open my own business, I never forgot my goal was to create opportunities for others. I gave everyone an opportunity to make a living and support his or her family. I believe in teamwork and I assembled a great team. Everyone contributes to the team. We share our knowledge with anyone who is willing to learn.
For me being a barber is not just a job it’s a career. In 2011, I opened my first shop in Norwalk and my second shop opened in 2012. It gives me great satisfaction to know that a lot of people can support their families because of the opportunities I have been able to provide them through my own shops and the apprenticeship program.
My shops are forward thinking, diverse and very customer friendly. Our diverse staff ensures our customers will feel comfortable in the shops. We are open 7 days a week and we provide flexible hours to serve our community. We cater to our customers’ schedules.
Everyone is welcome to "our" shop-yours and mine. As a team, we treat each other with respect and I work in a partnership with my barbers. We provide the environment in our shops that make the experience enjoyable. When I used to cut hair on the farm, I did not rely on promotions or technology to promote my services. When you treat people right, word of mouth is the only promotion you will ever need. My motto is I will walk through this life with an open heart and open hands. I know when you come to my shop, you will feel the difference.
Darnell D. Crosland, Zack's lawyer and NAACP President for the Norwalk Branch said, "One of the most important civil rights is the right to earn a living. So when Zack approached me regarding barbers operating without license, I thought we should do something to bring these people out of the shadows. The Bill we proposed makes it safe for all of Connecticut both from a health and compliance standpoint. I applaud Sen. Duff for stepping up and help us join so many other states that have effective apprentices programs."
As with all people I went into business so that I could make an honest living and feed my family, but I soon realized that I have an obligation to help others, and that's why I opened several other barbershops. I had a desire to help others support their families. I soon realized that an honest living must be made "honestly", and when I realized that people are cutting hair without a license and have no way of getting one. I immediately began thinking of how I could help change this situation. I reached out to a lawyer Darnell Crosland and together we came up with a proposal. We presented it to Sen. Bon Duff and the rest is as they say history!.
Barber, Businessman & Leader
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