Viewfinder: Upper Kutz owner freshens look for youth
NATCHEZ — The low humming of hair clippers greets patrons once they step into Upper Kutz Barber Shop on North Martin Luther King Drive, closely followed by a hello or handshake for owner Jimmie “Dee” Boclear.
When Boclear opened Upper Kutz in May, the 34-year-old envisioned his barbershop as a warm and inviting environment and an inspiration to the youth in the community.
“I want to lead by example,” Boclear said.
“I want young people to see me, a young black male, reaching a higher level; being a business owner. They don’t get to see guys like me in this position.”
In the Natchez community, Boclear was inspired by Marcus Jackson, owner of Jackson Mobile Detail and Giovanni Steward, owner of Car Center, to open up his own business.
“I saw these people, two young guys like me, pursue their dreams and passion. It was the catalyst for me to start thinking about opening up the barbershop.”
But Boclear credits his mother, Sabrena Bartley, for giving him the push to start his business.
“I’m blessed for having a mother who instilled in me the belief that if you have a dream, you should chase it.”
Although Boclear opened Upper Kutz in May, he has been cutting hair since he was 11 years old. When he and a friend got a hold of their fathers’ clippers they started cutting each other’s hair.
“Once I picked up those clippers, I knew this was something I wanted to get good at,” he said. “I was always an artist, and combine that with the want to get better, that creates a great barber.”