We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrian Santos and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adrian, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success and that of my brand is being relatable! Being relatable, from what I have noticed, is probably by far the most important factor behind not just my success but should be that of everyone else’s. As a barber at one of Houston’s #1 spots and being the most sought after LGBTQ barbershop owners in Houston I have found that being relatable is very important to the success of any business. As a barber who goes to other barbershops I like to put myself in the shoes of the client that is walking in to my shop for the very first time. Did they greet me? Did they say “Hi”? Is the place clean? The ability to become a customer is important to the success of my business because I am able to take pieces of ideas that I enjoyed as a customer or if i didn’t like a specific thing then I know what to work on at my own barbershop. At the end of the day I’m not just a barber, I’m not just a customer or a client, I am a regular everyday person just like the guys walking into my barbershop for the very first time.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am in the business of barbering and as a gay male barber in a hetero dominated industry it has always been hard for me to be taken serious by coworkers or even owners of shops that I have worked for before. For example, I was once told, “what does a gay guy know about cutting mens hair?” or my personal fave “shouldn’t you be doing women’s hair?” These are all challenges that I had to overcome being who I am in this industry but the most important lesson I have learned from this is that being yourself and being who you are will get you a lot further than being who you are not. My business name is TruCut barbershop and our motto is, “Stay true to ourselves, stay true to hair, stay true to our clients and have a TruCut!” I want the world to know that I have come from absolutely nothing and that I have strived and overcame many obstacles in my life to be where I am today. The journey to be here today started 10 years ago when my mother who passed away in 2018 of cancer pushed me to go to barber school and encouraged my success. Being that we were not wealthy it was tough to put all my time into barbering while I slept on my mom’s couch in her 1 bedroom apartment watching her struggle just so her son can make it and be successful; what my mother saw in me at that time I didn’t see in myself. What my mother instilled in me as a single parent is that nothing in life is easy and when she passed away and I was left with no family or nowhere to go I knew that the only way succeed was to believe in myself the same way she did when I was first beginning on my path. So here I am 10 years later after barber school and about 4 years later after my moms passing and the journey is what I am most proud and excited about and yea it sucks that my most important fan is no longer here and won’t be able to see how good I have got but I know that she would be proud. The way I overcame challenges that I have endured from being gay and working in this industry are just those of remembering where I have came from and always telling myself; “the haters are my motivators”.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Anywhere in Montrose or the Heights. I would definitely make sure they were here on a Sunday so we could do Sunday Funday. We would start by doing brunch at Cuchara and getting a delicious bowel of pozole and a michelada . From there head over to Boheme to check out the drag show and have a cool refreshing frose and then head over to JRs and Eagle to continue on the fun a drinking.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to the Montrose community because they have continued to help me grow and helped me to be in the position that I am in today. I could honestly think of a handful of names that I can name drop but I wont. So I just want to say thanks specifically to Travis Webb at Eagle bar and Julio Briceño at Jrs bar and grill for their continued business because without them I’d be nothing and without their support nobody would trust me. Much love.

Website: trucuthtx.com

Instagram: adri.sant32

Image Credits
Kevin McCauley

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