Native Odessan opens new barber school, follows calling to teach

Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 5:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Native Odessan Azreal Martinez has owned a barber shop since 2013, but a few weeks ago, he took on instructing too.

“You know, everybody has their calling and I guess this is my calling,” said Martinez, who recently opened Prestige Barber College.

The college currently has seven students and counting.

Growing up in Odessa, Martinez says he didn’t apply himself at school.

“I pretty much only made it to the 9th grade so at times I’ve found it ironic that this is what I’m chasing, to be an instructor more or less,” Martinez said.

However, it came naturally to him. Once he opened his own barber shop, he realized his success at helping and recruiting others.

His passion comes from the power of a good haircut.

“It’ll change your whole perspective. It’ll make somebody be ready to run for president,” Martinez said.

In such a competitive industry, Martinez says he wants to be a mentor. In his experience, others wouldn’t share their tips and tricks.

“It’s hard to find a good mentor in this industry, one who’s willing to not worry about you excelling or becoming the teacher,” he said.

That isn’t Martinez’s style. He wants to use hands-on instruction to go beyond teaching students to pass tests.

“[I’ll] teach them how to cut. My goal is not to help you pass a state test. My goal is to help you get into the field and excel,” Martinez said.

Student Nathaniel Lopez can attest to this.

“He’s insanely good. I mean, I’m two weeks in, three weeks in and cutting hair already,” Lopez said. “[I] didn’t expect to cut hair as soon as I did.”

It was Martinez’s talent that drew Lopez to the college.

“He’s been cutting my hair since [I was] in 6th grade and I’m 21 now,” Lopez said.

Martinez says the school can accommodate 25 students during the day and 25 at night. There are full and part-time enrollment options.

The school welcomes applicants.