Cutting hair has always come naturally to 29-year-old Bergen County barber Starlyn Delgado.
He first learned how as a kid, when he moved to Brooklyn from the Dominican Republic and spent time visiting his dad's friend's barbershop in Brooklyn.
By the time he was in middle school, Delgado was giving shape-ups to his friends. And when he moved to New Jersey, he began working at Top Cutz in Hasbrouck Heights.
"My family didn't come to the U.S. just for me to be somebody else," said Delgado, a dad of two from Hackensack. "I wanted to be somebody -- I wanted to be successful."
The COVID-19 pandemic showed Delgado that there was a great need for something he couldn't find anywhere in North Jersey: A mobile barber shop.
And so, six weeks ago, Delgado rolled out "Star Mobile Cutz" -- then quit his job at Top Cutz.
"It was always my dream to have something like this," Delgado said. "In a way I'm combining my passions, because I'm really into cars. Now I don't have to spend my days inside a shop, I'm on the road."
Delgado said COVID-19 changed everything for his industry.
"The shop was closed for seven months," he said. "We were going through a rough time."
Even though Delgado wasn't seeing clients at the shop, his phone was blowing up with people begging him to come to their house.
"I didn't want to risk my or my family's health," Delgado said. "It was only after about two months that people started calling me saying 'I'm sorry, but I need a cut.'"
Some were willing to pay as much as $300 for a haircut, he said.
And so, Delgado went. He wore a mask and gloves and cut his clients' hair in their backyards.
Doing so kept food on the table for his family, and kept his zest for life alive.
By the time barbershops were allowed to reopen, Delgado's clients had gotten used to his house calls. They started asking for more.
That's when Delgado decided it was time for a truck.
About a year after the pandemic started, the barber found a Ford E-250 for $11,000, then dropped another $7,000 tricking out the inside.
"The first time I walked into that truck tears came out of my eyes, because that's what I was looking for," he said.
The truck has a handcrafted, wooden work station and hand-cut wooden tiles. It's got LED lights and a bright red barber's chair -- the very same one that Delgado had when he started cutting hair.
And there's still more to be done, Delgado said.
The barber plans on installing a TV, canvassing the inside and outside with matte black vinyl, converting the two front seats to racing seats, adding a couch, an espresso machine and hydraulics.
The Hasbrouck Heights VFW lets him keep the truck parked in the lot. After all, he's been giving them free cuts for years.
Delgado will take his truck anywhere in a 50-mile radius, and charges $30 a cut.
Hearing Delgado discuss his future plans for his business was clear: He loves what he does.
"I feel like I made it," said Delgado, who recently bought his parents a house in the Dominican Republic.
"I'm my own boss, I make my own schedule and the most important thing is I'm serving my community.
"The most important thing in life is not what you make, it's to feel good and happy, and love what you do."
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