These under-40 influencers are making their mark. Meet Miguel Nieves, the style entrepreneur.
Miguel Nieves, Age 36
The influence Miguel Nieves wields in the borough is a fairly visible one — there’s no telling how many folks you pass in a given day who are sporting a haircut done by Miguel or one of his proteges. The WC native and Henderson High School grad founded Champions Barbershop, jettisoning a lucrative corporate career for the personal services industry.
His influence is not just as temporary and malleable as a hairstyle, though; he’s also founded a barber school to continue the trade in West Chester by training others in the field personal services industry. His influence is not just as temporary and malleable as a hairstyle, though; he’s also founded a barber school to continue the trade in West Chester by training others in the field.
Always artistic, Miguel brainstormed how to incorporate his creative streak into his unfulfilling international sales career. He took a barbering course, got a license,and quit his job. Using his sales skills to recruit clients, he was fully booked within a year. He worked for others for five years before opening his first shop on Chestnut Street in 2010.
Miguel found that he was spending a lot of his time training staff. By the time he opened his second location on High Street in 2015, he was training to be an educator and run his own school. He feels strongly that it is important that people for whom college is neither an option nor an interest know there is plenty of opportunity in the trades. He wants to provide that opportunity, whether to young people or retired factory workers and police officers.
To that end, he’s partnered with banks to secure funding to lend to students.Through the barbershop school, his students provide free back-to-school haircuts for kids in the community, and he brings Devereaux students in weekly for haircuts at a reduced rate, to name just a few of the ways he gives back to the community he loves. Miguel believes what he does involves more than a haircut; it should be a positive experience, and he works to make that experience available to the entire town, regardless of their circumstances
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