Sports Center on ESPN is playing on the flat-screen television mounted on the wall. Four barber stations, tidy and organized with clippers, mirrors, oil sheen and other materials a barber needs to manicure clients, stand ready. A chalkboard hangs above with prices. There are pictures on the wall and a vending machine with snacks. In a glass cabinet, hats, sunglasses and other fashion accessories wait to be sold.
Welcome to Newman’s Cali Fadez, a barbershop located at 5440 14th Avenue in Tahoe Park and serving a wide portion of the community. Owner and barber Ray D. Newman, 38, is open and ready for business.
“I got to a point I’d topped out there working for the school district and I just got to the point where I wanted to do something different,” Newman says.
On weekends, Newman would go to different barbershops selling his apparel. One of the barbershops Newman would stop at was Fly Cuts, owned by his friend, Toriano Mason.
“Ray D. Newman is a hardworking, very intelligent individual,” Mason says. “I’m proud I met him.”
While attempting to sell his merchandise, Newman would interact with some of the barbers. Eventually, they encouraged him to pick up some clippers and learn the barber’s trade.
“The barbers in those shops were very persistent on telling me I need to go to barber school,” Newman says. “They were like, ‘You have everything it takes to be a barber; you just need to learn how to cut.’ So I went to school.”
Newman got his start in barbering attending Moler’s Barber College in West Sacramento in 2007. Upon completion, Newman went to work at Family Ties Barber Shop, located on Martin Luther King Boulevard in South Sacramento.
“Ray D was very nice to his customers. He treated them with respect, and gave them what they wanted,” says “Uncle P,” a Family Ties barber who’s been in the business for 26 years. “He is also very involved with the youth.”
“That was the Mayor’s shop, Kevin Johnson’s shop. That’s where I wanted to work, I liked being there,” Newman says.
For years Newman worked at Uncle Jed’s. During his time there, Newman began to think about how he could become a shop owner.
“I had no idea what to do, I was just thinking it,” he says.
With careful consideration, Newman came up with an idea.
“So I thought hair show,” he says.
In May 2013, Newman put on “The Broadway Classic” at the Guild Theater. It was a hair show where hairstylists and barbers came to support Newman’s project and show off their artistic talents with styling and cutting hair.
“I’ve been around to see him blossom in various areas,” Mason says.
With the event being such a success, there was a need for an encore. And on May 4, 2014, another “Broadway Classic” hair show was executed at the same location.
This was it. This was his way out. Or so he thought. But on May 7, 2014, Newman received news that he would no longer have to worry about how he would leave Uncle Jed’s. Three days after delivering the second spectacular “Broadway Classic,” the employees of Uncle Jed’s learned the shop would close because of the revitalization on Broadway.
“And I believe that if one door close, God has two doors opened,” Newman says.
After taking careful consideration of the forced move, Newman, who does not relish moving from place to place and adores a stable foundation, went on the hunt for his own building.
“I didn’t want to move anymore,” he says. “I didn’t want to put myself in that position no more, so I found a shop. They (Uncle Jed’s) were closing in seven weeks, I moved in here in five.”
On June 16, 2014, Newman’s Cali Fadez was born. The warm, friendly, family environment that the barbershop provides is open to all who need a haircut, shave, line-up or a small trim off the top.
Although he enjoys cutting all of his clients’ hair, Newman’s favorite customers are the kids. During our interview, two elementary school aged boys enter the shop.
“I enjoy cutting kid’s hair,” Newman says as he prepares his work station for the next haircut.
A little over a year into owning his own shop, Newman is happy with the direction his business is taking.
“I look forward to seeing what’s in store for his future,” Mason says.
Newman is always looking for growth in the business, positive people with good insight. And he is looking for barbers as well. As he adjust the chair for the young boy waiting for a fresh new haircut, the barber looks up and says, “I give all my glory to God for the things I’ve done.”