From jail to owning a barber shop
BY JASON COHEN
Whether it was working multiple
jobs or doing a stint in jail, there always
seemed to be roadblocks in Eddie Torres’
At 40, the lifelong south Bronx resident,
opened Etrednz Barber Studio at
3027 Middletown Road iin December
“I was in shock,” Torres said. “I
couldn’t really soak it in.”
Torres was raised by his mom,
Awilda Santiago, in a two-bedroom
apartment with his siblings, Luis and
His mom couldn’t always afford
to get him a haircut, so sometimes he
would have to wait up to three months
to get one. Eventually at the age of 13,
he asked his mom for hair clippers and
instantly fell in love with the trade.
“I wanted to start cutting my own
hair and that’s how I started,” he recalled.
Torres would study the techniques
of the barbers he knew used and frequently
asked them for hair cutting
tips. Armed with confi dence he practiced
his craft on the kids who lived in
BRONX TIMES REPORTER,32 FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 5, 2020 BTR
Owner of Etrendz Eddie Torres
Photo by Schneps Media Jason Cohen
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At 17 he got his fi rst job shearing
domes in a numbers joint and eventually
worked in a few other spots. However
he didn’t see the potential his talent
had in store for him then, applying
his practice on a part-time basis at best.
“I didn’t know the potential that barbering
had at that time; I was so young,”
However, a few years later, his girlfriend
became pregnant and now he
needed to earn a living.
So, he landed a clerical job at St.
Luke’s Hospital and continued to cut
hair on the side. But, things took a turn
for the worse, when a three-year-old assault
case caught up to him and he was
sentenced to fi ve years probation.
As he continued to work both jobs, he
went astray and by 25, he was arrested
for conspiracy to sell fi rearms. He was
sentenced to two years and four months
in jail on the federal rap.
“This was the lowest point in my
life,” he said.
Prison made him realize how grateful
he was for food, family and friends.
“It’s a whole different way of life in
prison,” he commented.
He returned home at 29-years-old
and quickly reapplied and got his job
back at St. Luke’s. Six moths later he
quit the hospital job and decided to begin
cutting hair fulltime. It was at this
time that he met into his current wife,
Soon they learned Sulay was expecting
twin boys and needed a larger house
So he went back to working two
jobs to make ends meet. He dabbled as
a plumber, FedEx driver, construction
worker and porter, yet still kept turning
to cutting hair.
Flores urged him to stick with hair
and follow his dream.
He heeded her advice and created a
business account, selling T-shirts and
beard oils and building a clientele.
With the money he saved he felt it
was time to openh his dream barber
He met with a bank, was approved
for a loan and located an ideal storefront
in Pelham Bay.
“I always came back to cutting hair,”
Torres said. “At the end of the day all
of the pieces fell together. I’m so happy
I quit all those jobs and became a barber.”
The outside of Eddie Torres’ Etrendz Barber Studio. Schneps Media Jason Cohen