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

Hi Victoria, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Choosing an artistic career is driven by pure passion. I chose cutting hair because it gave me the opportunity to become more than my circumstances and I was dedicated to not making excuses anymore. Many of my emotional outlets were through creative arts (painting, photography, music, playing instruments, reading, writing,etc.) and braiding my sisters’ hair. By 18 I was an established cosmetologist but despite being a professional makeup artist, nail tech, and hair stylist, I never felt a sense of purpose. Shortly after my 20th birthday I decided that I would face my fears and pick up the clippers. As a result, I instantly had a sense of confidence that would soon turn into a successful career and a story to tell

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Barbering is an evolving field of work of what used to be just a simple haircut and straight razor shave. Now it is a haircut with braids, haircuts with color services, and haircuts with crisp line ups. Most importantly it is about giving the client what he’s looking for, the way he wants it. Being a Lady Barber I take pride in the quality of my services. I want my clients to leave my chair relaxed with confidence. But starting out as a barber wasn’t the easiest.

I graduated high school with my cosmetology license through our cosmetology program. Because I had already been an experienced makeup artist, my first thoughts were to become a MAC girl at Nordstrom. Unfortunately COVID had other plans. After quarantine I had started in the customer service department. By the end of October an advertisement for a receptionist at a local barbershop had popped up. It was at this moment that I was willing take a risk regardless of the outcome. I had so much fun being apart of a team, enjoyed the environment and even started picking up the clippers myself. I had reignited my spark. After some negotiations with the shop owner, I had decided to become a full time barber student. Shortly after enrollment my dad had started to get sick. My family and I had began our 2021 with my dads diagnosis being cancer. Because I wanted to be a barber my dad allowed me the honor of being the one to shave his head. It was vulnerable moments like this that reminded me “This is why I want to be a barber”.`

March of 2021 I had started at a barbershop called Straight Edge. I had known the owner through some mutual friends so he granted me a chair to cut hair outside of school. At this point I was scrambling to get my name out there. I had made business cards, converted my social media, and even offered free haircuts. After the owner had relocated the shop, i had lost a significant amount of walk in’s and even lost all my clients. Although, I had graduated with my barbers license by the time summer came around. Because I had lost so many clients, I decided to start working for a franchise barbershop to rebuild my clientele and that is exactly what happened. I was working 6 days a week cutting more than 7 heads a day. Naturally everything was moving so fast and I had been approached by a well known barbershop. I took the opportunity for my own personal growth in order to expand my creativity and improve my skill.

I now work for Galindo’s Barbershop in Conroe, TX. Being surrounded by dedicated barbers has shown me the benefits to my commitment and they have shown me endless guidance to being a well rounded barber. The shop owner himself has coached me thus far and encouraged my improvement. I am blessed to be apart of a team again and can’t wait to see myself at my greatest potential in the future to come.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston itself has an abundance of locations to experience. I personally enjoy the Cockrell Butterfly Center, Tout Suite Cafe, Dona Leti’s Birria taco’s, Minute Maid Park, concerts at Toyota Center, Old Town Spring, and Market Street in The Woodlands. My current favourite place to visit would have to be “Sugar Britches Cafe”. The staff is very friendly, the breakfast omelettes are full of flavor, and the coffee there is satisfying.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
With my journey, I have to give a big shout out to the barbering community for being highly motivated, dedicated to learning, and most importantly supporting each other endlessly. My Mom and Dad definitely deserve a huge shout out for endless love and guidance when it comes to following my passions. Thank you to my siblings for looking to me as a role model, friend and caregiver. And most importantly, thank you to my clients who have helped my journey become easier everyday by supporting my vision and dreams, my intentions, and goals

Website: galindosbarbershop.com

Instagram: @vixtoriarenee

Twitter: @vixtoriarenee

Other: Tik Tok: @vixtoriarenee

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.