LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A 20-year-old in Lexington is turning his dreams into a reality, opening up a barbershop of his own during a pandemic.
The seven barber stations are all set up at Exotic Cutzz in south Lexington, but the rest of the shop is still coming together. It's fitted with a waiting room, vending machine, shampoo room, and Play Station 5. Owner Ahmad Qadah says for him, age is just a number.
"It don't matter how old you are. If you have the mindset to do what you want to do, you'll get it done in life," said Qadah.
Opening a barbershop has been his dream for years.
"I been saving since like the of my sophomore year in high school. Ever since then, just put all my work into it," said Qadah.
His best friend Keshawn Vaughn remembers talking to him about his plans.
"He went to barber school overseas then had to get his license here in America because they wouldn't transfer it over. He was like I'm gonna open a shop," said Vaughn." I didn't think that he couldn't, but I definitely didn't think it would be so soon, like 20 years old."
Besides his dad, one of Qadah's biggest inspirations and motivations for opening up the shop, is his cousin, who recently passed away to gun violence. He has a strong desire not to see other youth turn out the same way.
"He was a big inspiration to me," said Qadah. "He always told me never give up, always chase your dreams, keep a smile on your face. I like to talk to the youth. I like to tell them a message. I always tell them like there's so much more to this world."
He's even motivated Vaughn to go to barber school and join him.
"He's motivated to get to the next level of anything," said Vaughn. "It's just always been that way with him and it motivates me too."
They plan to have a lot of late night and deep talks in the shop. They want it to be a place for young people to feel safe to chat.
"You can either go the right way or the wrong way. Choose your thoughts right. Always choose the right path over the wrong path and never think your dreams can't come true because dreams can come true," said Vaughn.
Exotic Cutzz is located on 1070 Chinoe Rd. Suite 100 in Lexington, KY. The shop officially opens in May.
Qadah is currently looking for three additional barbers to join the team.