Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
By Kyle Murray, Class of 2012 —
It was 3’oclock Monday afternoon and I had a 5 o’clock date in the city that I wanted to look my best for. The only problem was, I desperately needed a haircut and my usual barber was too far to get to in time. Being that I wasn’t too familiar with the Jersey City area, I asked a friend who lived nearby to recommend someone. That is how I met, LadyJae.
When I walked into the shop, with the background music loudly playing and guys huddled in a corner talking about last night’s game, I couldn’t help but think, I wonder if she feels out of place and what’s it like to be the only female in such a masculine environment. I was curious to know if she had more or less clients than everyone else, and if people trusted her cuts could be as good if not better than the rest of the guys. I wanted to know her story.
Lady Jae grew up as the only girl in a house with brothers.
“When I was younger I was a tomboy, I played sports, rode bikes with the guys, and even worked on cars with my dad,” said Jae.
The relationship with her brothers would also be the beginning of her hair cutting days.
“When my brothers came home with these messed up haircuts, I would fix them. After a while my dad gave kept giving them money to get cuts at the shop, but I would just do it and not tell him, and we’d keep the money for ourselves,” said Jae.
She would eventually end up in cosmetology school, and got her first start in the profession through the corporate cutting world.
“Corporate cutting is more scissors and soft lines, as opposed to urban cutting which is more sharper,” said Jae.
Jae left the corporate world, and met a barber named Biz, who took her under his wing, and sharpened her craft in the urban cutting world. Now with 10 years plus under her belt, she brings her own flavor to Nu Flavor Kutz in Jersey City. She has built up a loyal clientele seeing over a hundred customers a week. Take it from me, it can get pretty challenging getting a spot in her chair. There are some challenges being an only female in a barbershop, but growing up with her brothers has made it easy for Jae to adapt. She is a firm believer in doing what makes you happy, and for her that is cutting hair.
“My goal used to be to become well known enough that people would talk about me, which is sort of happening now and I am so grateful,” said Jae, “But one day I want to see my cuts on TV, and even have a shop of my own, that would be awesome.”
“Big dreams” from a person who is an example that talent sees no gender, that with hard work and energy, you make anything happen. Nu Flavor Kutz is located at the corner of Communipaw and West Side Ave in Jersey City.
First Lady of Kutz : LadyJae