Miguel Perez, Owner of Cuba Fades.
Several crafts enjoy a privileged place in the history and development of the Cuban nationality. Few like the barber. Miguel Perez is the proud owner of Cuba Fades in Downtown Brantford and is paying respect to the heritage of classic barbering.
Cuba Fades originally began in Miguel’s home when covid first started. “I started cutting hair in the military in Cuba when I was 19, when I came to Canada and walked into a barbershop in Hamilton I said I’m a barber and the owner gave me a chance. Working at a salon in downtown Hamilton most of my clients started as walk-ins as we were located on a busy street in Hamilton. When the lockdown hit my wife and I decided it made more sense to create a salon in our house and build clientele in Brantford.”
Starting with grassroots marketing Miguel made a sign saying “New Barber in town first haircut free” and would go to different plazas around Brantford every day trying to build up his clientele.
Within a year he became so busy he was able to open up his shop in Downtown Brantford, with a mix of old school and modern services, old school hot towel shaves, modern style hair cuts and designs available. Miguel has a unique style influenced by barbers in Miami and California mixed with his Latin culture that separates him from a lot of barbers and he continues to perfect his craft every day and will be adding more services to his shop in the future.
“My wife, Sarah, has supported me and been by my side since day one and has helped me put my vision to life along with helping the admin side of the business. My style and talent mixed with my wife’s admin experience we make the best team and doing it with the person you love is the dream.”
When asked what it has been like to open a business during a pandemic Miguel answered “Definitely scary but with a positive mindset and support of my wife, friends and new clients I had the support I needed for my vision.” He chose to see the pandemic as an advantage or a push if you will. “If covid never happened I would not have lost my job in Hamilton and I would probably still work at the salon.” Covid gave Miguel the ability to work from home for himself and start to rebuild his clientele, this time in Brantford. Using the various lockdowns to do renovations, improve the shop all while still receiving overwhelming and humbling support from the community he had what I needed to reopen, again.
Cuba Fades is all about good hair and good vibes. Stepping inside you immediately feel welcome and a sense of history. It’s a goal for Miguel to have a welcoming space for everyone, especially families and mothers with their kids. Miguel strives to give his clients the best service and haircut possible and in addition to the hair on your head, he takes great care of your beard because with a great beard, comes great responsibility.
“When you genuinely love what you do it is not a job it’s a lifestyle. I love interacting with my clients and networking daily.”
Downtown Brantford wasn’t their original choice on location but after looking around different areas of town not finding anything that felt right they spotted his now current downtown location, set up a viewing and Miguel and his wife agreed the vibe was right, it fit their vision and they signed the lease the same day at 70 Colborne St and the rest, as they say, is history.
Miguel continues to feel good about his location choice in the downtown and enjoys how close and supporting the downtown community is of small business. He continues to support other small businesses when he can and his barbershop has allowed him to do that and meet new people in the city.
Barbershops have been a place for catharsis in times of crises; a space for calmed conversation in times of plenty; a meeting point for diverse opinions and a natural venue for all disagreements on all great sports events. For some the haircut is simple but for others, it is not. Miguel and the rest of his colleagues at Cuba Fades make true wonders with people’s hair, authentic works of art that justify the price that the owners of the privileged heads will have to pay.
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