Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabe Torres.
Gabe, the father of two beautiful twin daughters, has been the owner and operator of Precise Barbershop, in Long Beach, CA, since 2003. Gabe became a barber, after a successful real estate career was derailed by market fluctuations and some risky investments. Always a fighter, and a first-generation Puerto Rican-American, he went to Barber College and launched his career as barber with passion and incredible work ethic. On Friday, May 22nd 2015 at 2:02 p.m. Gabe had a vein suddenly explode in his brain while cutting hair at the shop. He had so much blood in his brain that it completely paralyzed the entire right side of his body. As the blood was absorbed by his brain, he began regaining feeling on his right side. As he thought he was getting better, the neurosurgeon walks into the I.C.U. and says “Mr. Torres, we are going to have to do major brain surgery.” His heart dropped, as he considered whether he was ever going to be able to hug his daughters, walk, or cut hair again. The surgeon told him, “Mr. Torres, you will most likely never cut hair again, and if you regain feeling on your right side, it will take at least 1 year of rehab to get you back on your feet” Devastated, he fell into a deep depression. However, a doctor encouraged him, saying “Gabe why are you so depressed you just had successful brain surgery?” Gabe told him, “I want to walk again!” to which the doctor replied, “Gabe, you will get better as soon as you want to get better!” That encouragement gave him incredible hope, and the drive he needed. And four days after major neurosurgery, Gabe walked out of the hospital on his own two feet.
Rehabbing, fervently, Gabe was cutting hair full time 4 months later. To this day, doctors can’t explain the full recovery, let alone how rapidly it occurred.
Since then Gabe has committed his life, not only to living life full of gratitude, but to use his talents to help those less fortunate. He has embarked on a journey to open a second barber shop, so that he can employ more young men from the community, he began teaching at a local barber college, so that he could learn the skills he needed to run his own barber college, and he started the Humble Project. The Humble Project is a non-profit run by him and his best friends that provides people to share their time, talents and treasures to bless those in need by putting on events. The main goal is to provide homeless individuals with dignity. The events capitalize on Gabe’s connections in the industry, to bring in barbers, beauticians, clothing retailers, etc. to pamper people who have been forgotten, and to connect many volunteers to an issue in CA, that most people want to just ignore. Gabe has a tremendous vision for a Barber College that will equip underprivileged young men and women with skills that will provide them with careers, income that will enable them to be independent, and the possibility of being business owner, like him! We are excited for it to be opening at the end of this year!
Please tell us about Precise Barbershop and Precise Barber College.
Precise Barber College was founded by Gabe Torres, in collaboration with Covenant House California. Students enrolled in the barber college will have the option of joining our street outreach team and offer free haircuts to youth who are still on the streets. This takes the charitable model of service in the community and turns it on its head – we’re accustomed to the ‘givers’ in society being those who are blessed with resources but we know from experience that our youth who have the least are eager to give, and we couldn’t be more excited to help nourish a whole new population of givers who are creating positive change in L.A.
We are eager to witness the effect that hundreds of service-oriented graduates with earning power and a unique perspective on social engagement will have on our social and fiscal economies. We are building a replicable model that serves people, inspires service, and facilitates connection between Angelenos.
The objective of the Precise Barber College is to prepare its students to pass the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology examination, which qualifies them to practice anywhere in the state as licensed barbers.
Further, it is an objective of Precise Barber College to ensure that its students are receiving the most up-to-date and best practices as they relate to barbering and small business practices; it is our sincere hope that our graduates feel empowered and informed when they graduate.
Our instructors will teach you, the student, in a step-by-step method that is based on time in the classroom, reading the curriculum materials, and by engaging in one-on-one conversations with the instructors.
We are committed to setting you up for success and to prepare you to open your own barbershop. We have created a curriculum that is designed to educate you on the keys to being a successful entrepreneur, taught by a professor who teaches this same curriculum at U.S.C., We strongly believe that once we give you the tools needed, you will have the ability to take on anything.
We will have the Barbershop open and offer full Barber services provided by our driven Students. All Students are fully supervised by Licensed Instructors.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is when I realized that I had a servant’s heart. When I was 6 years old I went to a birthday party at Chucky Cheeese. I remember getting this little cup with what seemed to be about a thousand tokens. I was so excited I felt like I was rich! As I was running around the place looking for a ride or game to play, I noticed this little kid around my age, he looked so sad, as I approached him I said “Hi”, he didn’t say hi but he kept moving his hands and looking at me. Now I realize that he was using sign language. I asked him if he wanted a token to start the ride and he nodded his head yes. I gave him all my tokens, and that was the best feeling ever! I remember going back to my table just so happy, and so fulfilled!
- Address: 5716 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029
- Website: precisebarbercollege.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Precise Barber College