We had the good fortune of connecting with Lu Garcia Reynoso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lu, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Growing up my parents modeled entrepreneurship in many ways by owning small businesses and I was always drawn to it. My first business was selling candy at school out of my backpack in the 3rd grade until the administration found out and shut me down. Years later in my early 20’s I was excluded from a business opportunity that was offered to members of my family and I felt so hurt by it that I made a promise to myself to one day own my own business so I would never be in that position again.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Before I became a barber I was a professional quitter. I wasn’t good at school so I dropped out and had trouble holding a job. I often felt that the work ethic my parents instilled in me had somehow skipped me. If I’m being honest I felt like a loser and that sent me down a path of self destruction. Becoming a barber redirected my life. It gave me a sense of community that I had not experienced before and that made me fall in love with it.
Suddenly, that quitter that I identified as disappeared because no matter how hard things got I couldn’t stop showing up.
This is when I knew that I had found my calling. After getting my barber license and becoming a professional I had a lot of questions and not many places to get answers, so I founded Barber Society a resource based trade organization. It began with simple things like wanting to learn the tips and tricks of the profession from my peers to a movement filled with networking events, workshops, seminars and a competition which is Modown Barber Exhibit. We started locally and over the years we’ve been able to take our community internationally to places like Russia and Mexico.
The road has been filled with challenges but I’ve learned that in the darkest of times is when we appreciate the light and that somewhere in the shadows of our hardships we can find the truth about who we are and what we’re made of.
My mission has been simple from the start and it’s what has kept me anchored when the sea gets rough.
I am here to help others see that the life you desire is not only possible but within your reach should you commit to doing the things that your dream requires of you.
I want to level out the playing field and give individuals the tools, resources and information they need to get there.
I hope when my time is done that my legacy will be that I held the door open for others to make it through and that in circumstances where there was no door I built one.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As an Angelo I love my city and enjoy showing it off. I would begin by taking them to the natural history museum, la brea tar pits (page museum) and Griffith observatory. After that a quick ride down PCH to visit the golden triangle and stop at Hermosa Beach for Birria Tacos at Tacos El Goloso. In the evening we would make our way to KTown for Korean BBQ and Karaoke followed by a quick stop at California Doughnuts for dessert.
After all that food and fun a morning hike at Elysian park with a great view.
I enjoy night life so a late dinner at the perch in DTLA followed by dancing in West Hollywood at the Abby and to cure our hangover the next morning a spicy ceviche from Gloria’s Covina Mexicana in Downey.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Joahna Garcia-Torres she met all my dreams with hope and has encouraged, supported and helped make them come to life. I am grateful for her in more ways than I can describe in words and a lot of what I do and how I do it is to make her proud.
Other: Personal Instagram @Lugarciareynoso