“I love the reaction somebody gets when they get a new haircut. You come in the barbershop and you leave out a different person. I love that reaction and I love being able to give people that reaction.” Justin “Juju” Hawkins found his passion for cutting hair at a young age when his father taught him how to cut his brother’s hair. He cut his teeth in his teens, driving to people’s houses to give them haircuts, all the while slowly polishing his craft. Since then, it’s brought him to Signature Cuts, one of the premiere barber shops in the city. Getting into Signature Cuts was no easy feat. Juju described the competition as crazy but it also drove him. “If I’m around somebody who is better than me, I’m going to try to get on their level…or get above them.”
Having a clientele from the local kids in the neighborhood, to Buffalo Bills players, Juju has established himself as one of the city’s top barbers. Being in his chair goes beyond just a haircut, as he explains how a lot of the youth he does business with look up to him like an uncle. He tries to share his experiences, stating “I’m not a motivational speaker, but when finding motivation I like to share it with others because they might be in the same predicament as me.” He takes a lot of pride in being a positive outlet for people stating “I like for people to come to my page and see positive stuff because social media is a lot of negative things.”
In addition to being one of the top barbers in the city, Juju runs his own clothing like “Product of My Environment.” When it came to starting his clothing line, Juju elaborated “I’ve always been good at art and one day I just said ‘Let me start doing this on clothing, and if you wear it, somebody’s definitely gonna ask you where you got it from and compliment you on it.“ This young entrepreneur, with his infectious positive attitude, is always thinking of his next move, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Author Charles Skowronski
Story, Photography, and Editing by Joshua Koester
Executive Produced by George Johnson