There’s only one place on campus that you can walk in looking one way and come out looking another.
It’s the Boca campus’ New Era Barber Shop — and there’s more that goes on in there besides haircuts. Shop owner Angel Santana opened New Era’s FAU location in 2009, and has sponsored local causes like the Boys & Girls Club, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation to conquer childhood cancer.
New Era wants to continue helping out the community and FAU students, like junior business major Caleb Marin, who has visited the shop three times in the past six months. As is custom at other barbershops, Marin has formed a bond with a specific barber at the shop.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to have that ‘my barber’ kinda thing,” Marin said.
Before 2009, FAU didn’t have a barber shop on campus. When Santana was introduced to the vice president of business services by a former FAU student at his off campus shop, Santana was captivated by the thought of opening a shop on campus.
“It just made sense,” Santana said. “… A true convenience for all students and faculty at FAU.”
In 2009, New Era was located where the Military and Veteran Student Success Center is in the Student Union as both a men’s and women’s salon.
The location closed and was reopened on the Breezeway without the women’s salon.
The shop isn’t student-run, but rather part of a Florida chain. Santana, who had opened his first New Era location in Florida in 2006, said the process to open the shop on a college campus was lengthy and competitive.
However, he said that improving students’ self image was important — and worth the process.
“You have to always be ready, you only get one first impression,” Santana said.
Marin said his most memorable time at the shop was when, in the middle of a haircut, his barber was interrupted by a spectacle happening right outside.
“My buddy has a public speaking class and he had to get up on a table outside [of the barber shop],” he said, laughing. “We opened the doors and just laughed the whole time.”
Sheldon Sammy, the New Era manager, said going to the barber shop was part of the “upbringing” for kids in a community.
“The barber shop knows all the kids from coming to get their haircut, to putting them in the chair, until they show up with their driver’s license ready to go to college,” Sammy said.
Santana wants students to know that the barbershop is here on campus and it is a “true and legit barbershop.”
Santana said that the shop is a place on campus to destress and “pamper” yourself.
It’s like a “country club for blue-collared people, working personnel, [and] students,” Santana said. “Take advantage of the convenience on campus”.
The New Era Barbershop is located on the Breezeway between Starbucks and the Bookstore and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Prices range for haircuts range from $7 to $20 and shaves/extras from $7 to $40.
Carla Viviana Lopez is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].