The Velo Barber
Hair stylist. Pizza connoisseur. Ambassador of positivity. Cyclist.
Written in sharpie on a mirror in the at-home barber shop of Julien Howard (aka The Velo Barber) are the words, “Be a blessing.” It only takes a few minutes of hanging with Julien to experience his infectious positivity and ability to capture your emotion - and without missing a beat. Julien has a way of making any previously held stresses disappear. Perhaps this gift is born from a lifestyle in which he has been able to combine his two passions; riding bikes and cutting hair. Or, conversely, maybe that’s exactly why he’s able to pull it off.
“My goal anytime I cut someone’s hair is to try to bring the most out of them. With that positivity I have, I just try to transfer it to them, so that BOOM they can keep that ripple effect going.”
Julien grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to New York City. Riding his bike from client to client around the largest city in the US, Julien is a conduit between the many cultures and socio-economic classes that cohabitate in NYC. He might find himself in the office of a Wall Street banker in the morning and in the afternoon, the studio of a jewelry designer in Brooklyn. Julien finds the pin-drop-routing function on the Karoo 2 to be a key tool in enabling this busy schedule all over the city.
“No matter where you’re from, what your background is or what you believe in, people have the same basic needs - they want to be loved, they want to be taken care of, and they want to be respected.”
Regardless of the client, Julien gives 100% of himself to whoever is sitting in the chair in front of him and quenches his curiosities with the endless amount of new things he learns from people. “Biking has been that key factor that has allowed me to connect to people who I would have never met in my life before,” he explains. The bike has always been, and will always be, a symbol of possibilities and new horizons for people. And for Julien, those horizons are found in human connection and the possibility of being a light in someone's day.