Barber on the run

MEEKER | Jason Boudreaux has a lot of stories to tell. Whether you catch him outside the local Go-Fer Foods, run into him on the street, or sit down for a haircut in his barber chair, you’re sure to hear at least one of them.

Growing up in Lafayette, Louisiana, Boudreaux learned many hard lessons early. “When I was 15 I got emancipated from my parents so I could work the rigs in the gulf, to be able to provide for my mother.” That early start in the workforce also put a damper on his educational opportunities.

Still, he did what he could do to put food on the table. “I had a little car detailing business at 16, I worked in the kitchens too. My dad helped me out a little bit with a job working in his convenience stores,” he said.

“To go from that poverty-stricken place to how Colorado is here, it still to this day is a culture shock to me.” Boudreaux uses the term “shock” in a positive way, describing the freedom he found living in a community where people leave their cars running without a second thought, and where he can have a pleasant chat with a stranger outside the store. “You can’t do that at home without watching your back,” he said.

Boudreaux takes pride in his cultural roots. “I love get-togethers and cookouts. I love music, and all those things are embedded back home, on a daily basis,” he said. “I do miss the seafood. Gulf seafood, that’s what I grew up on. You know crab, shrimp, crawfish, you don’t really get that up here.”

Boudreaux credits his upbringing for contributing to his positive outlook and desire to help others. “And that’s something I could never shake off and that I never wanna change about myself. If anything I would wanna introduce other people to it too. A little bit of our culture and how we do it,” he said. “We’ll have a fry-up, cook gumbo, pair it with rice, potato salad, french bread, you know and stuff like that.”

Those types of get-togethers, often a daily occurrence in Louisiana, played a role in his decision to start cutting hair. “We’re sittin’ around, we’re drinking, we’re barbecuing… Hey, I got a pair of dog clippers right here, lemme clean up the side of your head,” he said. As soon as he cut one friend’s hair, someone else was in line right behind them.

Offering free haircuts in the beginning meant friends and family could stay fresh and keep cool in the humid Louisiana climate, even if they couldn’t afford the service from a professional barber or stylist. “Like I said, I come from a poverty-stricken place,” he said. “If I can save that guy some money, let’s do it.“

“Practice makes profession,” Boudreaux added, describing the opportunity to pursue barbering as a way to make a living doing something he enjoyed. Eventually he opened his own barber shop, where he perfected his craft for more than a decade.

After a series of life-changing events, including his father’s death, a divorce, and a car accident that injured his back, Boudreaux closed his barber shop and moved away from Lousiania for a “change of scenery.”

He’s had various jobs in the area, mostly working in kitchens and the oilfield. He was doing roustabout work on Piceance Creek for a local contractor when COVID hit and Boudreaux found himself unemployed.

Though he had not worked as a barber for years, he never lost his passion for the craft and getting laid off gave him a chance to jump back in.

“It kinda gave me a window of opportunity, me being unemployed, not working 50 hours a week, to kinda get back into the mode of, hey what can I do? How can I utilize this? That’s where I jumped into this little spot,” he said.

That spot is a space in Go-Fer foods convenience store, where he has been building a clientele. “I’m still new to this town and nobody knows me, and just trying to build a name for yourself, it’s not an easy process.”

But the process is worth it for Boudreaux, who feels inspired and excited by his work. “Just giving these guys something more than just a haircut. Almost like a transformation. That’s the kind of stuff that really just excites me. I can’t even put it in words sometimes.”

Boudreaux is available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, but he says he is open to changing the schedule depending on what people need.

Book an appointment, and maybe you’ll hear one of his fascinating stories. Call or text Jason Boudreaux at 970-819-1839.