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Meet Victor Bañuelos of Elysian Barbershop in East Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victor Bañuelos.

Victor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a first generation Mexican American from Baldwin Park Ca. Where? I know! I always had an eye for people with style I was moved by the care those types of people took. As a kid, I loved dressing up in my Dad’s clothes and putting Tres Flores Pomade in my hair. I tried other paths but barbering was my first love. I was encouraged to pursue it by Carlos “Exit” Landeros, Mike “Pugsly” Conti and Omar Romero, barbers/friends. I’ve cut hair in East Hollywood my entire career. Started at Sweeny Todd’s (2010-2012) for a couple of years and learned a lot from owner Todd Lehman, then spent almost 7 years at Vinny’s Barbershop (2012-2019) and became godfather to owner Omar Romero’s son.

For years I had to sacrifice everything to save every other dollar I made for my shop. From living in a tiny and I mean tiny studios to selling my car, you name it. I opened Elysian barbershop on May 1, 2019. I have the most hardworking and passionate crew around; Mike Centeno, Joseph Estrada and Alejandro Mazuera. These guys are the chassis of the shop. Our Patrons have made all of this possible. We opened to Bring Neighborhood to Hollywood.

Has it been a smooth road?
My journey just like anyone else’s has been a circular path of good and bad. I owe everything I have to my patrons they come back for whatever reason. I can’t sit here and tell you I deserve this beautiful life I have I didn’t do anything but show up to work ready and prepared. Along the road I’ve lost friends because I couldn’t make it to functions due to me trying not to spend money, I lost an apartment, I had to move back in with my Dad, had to sell my only vehicle, I rode my bike to work every day, had to learn to say no to a lot of potentially fun things. This is what it takes though. This is the price to play.

Please tell us more about your business.
I own and operate a traditional barbershop specializing in classic short hairstyles with an emphasis on bringing out the best part of you. We use tried and true techniques to get the best possible result like using a straight razor, hot lather, and the best cutting implements. We’re a new shop we aren’t known yet but if there is something I would like people to remember when they leave the shop is how they felt; from being greeted politely to the smell of bay rum aftershave. I’m most proud of my barbers committed to excellence and humility. We are a collective and nobody is above anyone here. We rotate cleaning the restroom daily, we are a brotherhood. I don’t pay attention to anyone else honestly. There are so many barbershops in LA I would go crazy trying to be different from them. We just put service above everything, that’s it there’s no secret.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love this City! I mean you gotta be the best at whatever it is you do to make it here. So many people keep moving to Los Angeles and they’re gunning for your job so that adds competitiveness that pushes Angelenos to excel. But, we also know how to relax and appreciate our hard work. This city is the center of the world if you ask me we got it all here and our diversity makes us compassionate. What I like least about LA is those damn battery powered app scooters. They do make our city look messy.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5118 Santa Monica Blvd
    Los Angeles Ca 90029
  • Website: Elysianbarbershop.com
  • Phone: 3237410002
  • Email: victorthebarber86@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Elysianbarbershop

Image Credit:
David Padilla

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