Hugo Bryan Castillo
As you walk into F&M Hair Cuts, Delia Heredia, the owner of the small shop, greets you with a smile. Even though her English is not perfect, you can enjoy talking to someone who is passionate about what they do.
“I love cutting hair,” Heredia said. “I’ve been cutting hair since I was a small girl.”
Heredia, 40, is a single mom with three beautiful daughters, all in their pre-teens. She came to the United States from Sinaloa, Mexico 16 years ago. Now she resides in La Verne and she could not be happier.
“I like La Verne because there are very good people, respectable and friendly,” Heredia said.
Heredia runs the small barbershop, but not by herself. She has the help of her three assistants, who she calls family: Martin Cisneros, Joaquin Solis, and Lester Pedroley.
“It’s a family within a business,” said Heredia who acknowledges her staff’s professional contributions to the expansion of her shop.
Cisneros and Solis have been working with Heredia for three years and Pedroley has been working with her since June.
“I love her,” Pedroley said. “(Heredia) is awesome to work with. She is kind and a good barber.”
F&M Hair Cuts has been running for nearly 50 years here in La Verne. It was previously owned by Fred Ayala, until Heredia bought it from him nearly five years ago. Now, she has no regrets buying the shop.
“I like to be around people,” Heredia said.
Heredia always thought about having her own business and always wanted a successful barbershop.
Jesus Cabral, a Real Estate agent from Ontario, gets his haircuts only at F&M Hair Cuts. According to Cabral, the owner sold it to Heredia because the business was slow.
“Delia made it what it is now,” he said.
However at the beginning, it was not all smooth sailing.
“It was hard for me because you have to be professional,” Heredia said. “It became possible through word of mouth.”
Heredia’s philosophy is to respect the customer’s wishes. To her, a customers’ business is valuable.
Heredia gets a lot of repeat customers and that is the best advertisement, said one of her customers.
Heredia knows how to treat her customers professionally.
“You have to do exactly what the customer orders,” she said. “If they want their hair short, you have to make it short.”
She knows that when customers talk about her and her business, it is always good. She is always smiling and calling people by their first name.
“Everything is about the customer and she makes it that way,” Pedroley said. “She acts with courtesy to her customers.”
Heredia is a professional businesswoman and a friend at the same time.
“I have known her for eight years and she is talented at what she does,” Cabral said. “She cuts hair pretty quickly and that’s what people love about her.”
Heredia said that she had no obstacles while she was working at getting the business started.
It did take her a while to get into it, but now she enjoys having a business and calling it her own.
“I love what I do. I love it,” she said.
Once she got the shop, she painted the walls all by herself and redid the tile flooring. She still has plans to remodel the entire shop, and eventually change the shop’s name to Delia’s Barber & Beauty.
“(The design of the shop) affects me and the way I work,” Heredia said. “It affects the way I interact with my customers.”
Heredia enjoys the location of her shop. She loves the La Verne community and is not planning on going anywhere.
“The location of my business has helped me,” she said. “People from the community – firefighters, police officers, students from the University of La Verne – help my business grow.”
Heredia hopes to expand her business and leave a mark in the community.
She acknowledges her customers for making this possible by providing the best professional service and friendly atmosphere. And she is glad that she has no competitors.
Julie Park, owner of the Bowl House, enjoys Delia’s company.
“They are nice friends and nice neighbors,” Park said.
The atmosphere in the barbershop is best described as warm and friendly. Heredia and her assistants enjoy picking up a conversation, making you feel comfortable. Her professionalism has got customers retuning back to her for her well-done services.
Heredia sees herself working here for a long time. “Maybe I’ll work here for another 10 years, for 24 hours…maybe 15 years,” she said.
Even though Heredia has trouble speaking English, she clearly speaks passionately about her profession.
“I also like my customers because they help me speak better English,” she said with a laugh.
F&M Hair Cuts is the best place to find professionalism and friendship under one roof.
Hugo Bryan Castillo can be reached at email@example.com.