My family and I came from Costa Rica when I was only 2 years old.
We came in search of a better life but life for a family of immigrants was far from easy. Things in Miami at that time were not great and crime was at an all-time high.
Growing up, I never had much and was often teased by my peers. I turned to art as a way to express myself.
I was always very good with my hands and found a passion in drawing and building things.
By the time I was ten, I got fed up with the teasing and cut my hair for the very first time.
It wasn’t the best cut but it was better than what my father would do to me. I picked up the same clippers my dad used to ruin my hair with and began to mimic haircuts that I had only dreamed of having.
I slowly but surely began to gain the respect of those who once teased me. I would get home from school to see a line of classmates and friends waiting for me to give them haircuts.
As the time went by and I got better I began to charge a few dollars to make some money.
By the time I was seventeen, I needed a more professional atmosphere so I made the move to an actual barbershop.
I was lucky enough to be part of a barbershop that was full of experienced and respected barbers.
This is when I learned the most.
I made sure to listen and follow the advice of all those around me especially the owner who was also an artist. He showed me how to use my artistic background to my advantage.
My clientele grew and before I knew it I had built the foundation for a full-blown career. I then decided to go ahead and proceed with applying and completing my state barber license. As time went by, I craved more, I wanted more, so for the first time I took my skills to a barber battle.
My first experience was not what I expected and it took a toll on me. But I knew that I wanted so much more for myself and my career so I could not quit. So I continued to battle!
I traveled to Port St. Lucie where I not only took home my first trophy but took home two trophies that day.
Ever since then I have made attending these events part of building my name and networking with fellow barbers who share the same passion as I do. I have won some and lost some but always manage to gain something great from each event. I got to meet barbers that I always looked up to and could only dream of meeting.
I eventually was offered several opportunities to judge battles and got a few chances to showcase my skills as well. I have learned that showcasing gives me the chance to really show off my artist ability.
My future holds so much more and all I can really say is stay tuned!
Barber Love means hard work, dedication, determination. It is a passion that lives within and you cannot see yourself with out. It consumes you and becomes your way of life.
Always seeing those who get haircuts from you walk around with a smile and giving them the satisfaction you always dreamed about growing up.
Connect with Ralph
💈💈Owner/Barber of Last Level Barbershop
💈💈3360 Coral Way Suite 1 Miami Fl 33145