Until he decided that he wanted to cut hair, Pat Palos hadn’t stepped foot inside of a barber shop for years.
And now he owns one.
Palos, a 1997 Sierra High School graduate, just recently opened his first business – The Vintage Barber Co. – near Downtown Manteca to fulfill a lifelong dream of being his own boss and doing what he loves to do.
While the magnitude of taking on the world of small business isn’t lost on the former Sandia National Laboratory employee, Palos said that the prospect of coming to work every day to do something that he loves – with people that he loves – is worth the responsibility that goes along with it.
“I think that’s everybody’s goal at some point – to be their own boss,” Palos said. “There’s a lot that goes along with that and you take on a lot when you do something like this, but I think this is something that the community is really going to respond to.”
For years Palos worked three jobs to support his family while his wife was going to school to become a registered nurse.
And when she finally got hired in her new occupation, Palos said that she told him to go find something that he loved to do and stay with just that for all the years of hard work that he put in.
He chose cutting hair.
The longtime semi-professional football player took an opportunity after a layoff at the Sandia National Laboratory to go to barber college and pursue something that had long been a passion for him, even if he had only been to three barbers in the last 25 years after he learned how to cut his own hair – something he said that planted the seed that grew into his most recent venture.
While speed salons and even barber shops may be plentiful in Manteca, Palos felt that there weren’t any upscale options for those who wanted the experience of an authentic, throwback barber shop while at the same time enjoying all the men’s grooming amenities that most places don’t offer.
“One of the things that’s different about us is the straight razor – a lot of barbers can do that, but not a whole lot of people do that around here anymore,” Palos said. “We wanted to bring that back to our customers and give them that experience. Whether it’s a haircut or a shave or the products that they need, we have that here for them and we want to be a place that they can come back to every month or every couple of weeks to take care of things for them.
“We wanted to offer something that our customers that they can’t get here in town, and we’re hoping that people will give us a shot.”
In additional to the throwback feel – Palos completely overhauled the space to give it a contemporary yet rustic look – customers can expect complementary beverages as well as sports programming on two large flat-screen TV’s inside of the main barbering area.
A second portion of the space that will soon house a dart board and a pinball machine. It will eventually, Palos hopes, have more barber chairs – a built-in expansion that he hopes he’ll be able to utilize soon enough.
“We’re not saying we’re the best haircut or the best in shave in town, we just wanted to do something that was different and do it our way,” said Palos, who works with his younger brother Gabe, also a Sierra High School graduate. “There are lots of great barbers in town and people that cut great hair, we just had this idea about having a space like this and it’s great to finally see that realized.
The Vintage Barber Co. is located at 107 W. North Street Suite 102, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, visit www.thevintagebarberco.com or call 209.603.3837.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.