“Cutting hair was kind of a natural for me. In barber school, doing my first layer cut, my teacher asked me if I had cut hair before. I had not, so I said, ‘Never’.”
After 8 years in the construction business, Stan Martinez decided building was not for him.
“I didn’t like 100-degree days, I didn’t like the wind, the rain, the hail and the snow. And I didn’t like getting dirty and beaten up,” he says. So, at his mother-in-law’s suggestion, Stan enrolled in barber school, and, “Now, my hairdryer is the heaviest thing I lift.”
After graduating from Barber school, Stan ended up working at The Downtown Barber, in January, 1984. Forty years later, Stan is still downtown. Now he is the proud owner of four Barber shops; three in business and one in the works, opening in July, 2024.
Photo of Stan Martinez, owner of Stan's Downtown Barbers
Stan works at two of those shops. “I love this (profession), this is where I belong,” he says. “The best thing about this job is the connections I make, people from all walks of life.”
Stan, a Latino, says, “I hate to diminish the struggle in ethnicity, but I think my biggest struggle was being short! I’m only five foot five. Regardless of what I am on the outside, it’s who I am on the inside that matters.”
Like many businesses, Stan’s barbershops lost 50 pct. of their employees during COVID. He says that keeping employees is the most challenging part of running his business. Stan estimates that before Covid, 60 pct. of his clients went downtown to get their cuts. That number is down to 20 pct. Because of that, he is looking to residential areas for his business. But his downtown shop will stay. He says, “Downtown, per square mile, is the most-dense population in metro Denver.”
Stan’s daughter, Nina Rosine Martinez, is his business manager and director of operations. He says, “She is big part of my success. I attribute a lot to Nene Martinez (Stan’s girlfriend and receptionist) and of course to our barbers, too. They are the reason I am successful. I can’t tell you how important it is to have this core group behind me. We’re a team and we know how important each part of that team is.”