In middle school, Jamie Gutierrez was known as the neighborhood barber. People needed their hair cut, and since no one knew how to do it, Gutierrez learned how. That’s how his career began.
Jamie Gutierrez runs a barbershop in Ellensburg, Washington, and while his career has roots in his childhood years, he walked down a different path for a while. As he was growing up, his older siblings went to college at the urging of his parents who insisted it would create a better future for their kids. In Jamie’s case, his college journey was rocky. He tried to join the business school at the University of Washington, but when he got a rejection letter, he transitioned into ethnic studies. He worked with a high school equivalency program for a while but was laid off with budget cuts.
That’s when Gutierrez remembered his love for barber work. He earned the necessary license to work as a barber and immediately went to work back in his hometown of Toppenish, but he was dissatisfied. He left Toppenish when he went to college because he wanted to get away from the small town space. Being back in his hometown, he felt those same longings.
Gutierrez set his eyes on Ellensburg where he knew some friends and could engage with more people. He saved up for the shop and put together a strong business plan to launch Northwest Barbershop in 2014. Now, he’s known as one of the best people in town to get a haircut from. He’s known for carrying good conversation and listening to the stories his clients tell him without any judgment.
Gutierrez says that running his barbershop has helped him grow up and take responsibility for all the necessary elements of a successful barbershop. He’s looking forward to going back to school, but for the time being, Northwest Barbershop is his life.