Brothers Ricky and Isaias Huerta are examples of the American dream. They have opened a new barbershop called the 1920 Barbershop at 2045 Mt. Diablo St. above Vinnies thanks to the suggestion of one of their clients, Kyle McClay.
McClay has been a longtime client of theirs at the Parlor Barber Shop in Concord. Having learning their life story he decided to help them take that next step in realizing their dream of owning their own business. He offered them space to open their own barbershop. McClay is owner of American Home Kitchen whose offices are above Vinnies in Downtown Concord.
“I had this large unused space and I just thought it was a way that I could help them get started,” McClay said.
They subleased the space and McClay offers free haircuts to all of his own employees. “I see it as helping someone out when it hasn’t been easy for them and helping the community start a new business. I’m all in when it comes to Concord and its future,” McClay said while getting his haircut.
So what is their story? Their mother immigrated to the US with Isaias, 6, Ricky, 8, and sister who was 2. She rented a 1-room apartment for the four of them and worked two restaurant jobs.
Once old enough, the brothers attempted to go to Diablo Valley College, but it was a struggle, especially since they too both worked two jobs.
They worked in restaurants and ran a small urban clothing boutique inside a friend’s barbershop on Contra Costa Blvd. That is how they became interested in barbering for themselves.
They went to an apprenticeship school which gave them a temporary two-year license to work and learn the trade. Thanks to the Dream Act, they were able to get their Califonia ID, Social Security number, and appear before the CA State Board to get their barber licenses.
“We credit our mother who showed us good work ethics. She worked hard and started with nothing when she came to this country. We are pursuing our American dream,” Ricky said. They both have family, comfortable homes, and now they are launching their next stage of owning a business, thanks to McClay’s help.
“We chose the name 1920 Barbershop because that was the year that barbering was recognized as a profession in the US,” Isaias said. They furnished the salon with five antique barber chairs from the early 1900s.
They found the chairs online and had them restored by a company in Southern California. They are beautiful.
“There are 24 barbershops in Concord, so we wanted to do something different,” Ricky said.
1920 Barbershop is a full service cut and hot shave barbershop that comes with privacy in an atmosphere of early American nostalgia.