Mariana Gutierrez opened her barber shop, Sacred Cuts, in April. She offers cuts, shaves, fades and a variety of options for short hairstyles. Pictured, Gutierrez sits in her chair at the salon. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
Mariana Gutierrez opened her barber shop, Sacred Cuts, in April. She offers cuts, shaves, fades and a variety of options for short hairstyles. Pictured, Gutierrez sits in her chair at the salon. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
There’s a new barber shop in Portland.

Sacred Cuts, which specializes in short hair styles, opened at 203 N. Meridian St. on April 4.

Jay County native Mariana Gutierrez, 27, offers several options at her shop, such as shaves and fades, which she said are her specialty. She’s also open to braiding, cuts, facials and eyebrow trims as well as perms and color treatments.

“I like transformations, I like seeing people happy,” she said.

A graduate of the Jay County High School Class of 2012, Gutierrez received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana University – East in Richmond. She worked in the field for about three years before pursuing her barber’s license. Her mother, Valvina Gutierrez, who owns Jalisco Mexican Store in Portland, had mentioned to her there is need in the community for a barber shop, noting she had local residents coming in to her store requesting haircuts.

“She was just like, ‘It’s a need, a bunch of men, especially (for) Hispanic men that can’t communicate with other people around here,’” explained Gutierrez.

Being a single mother to three children, the idea of having a more flexible schedule also appealed to her. About six months after her mother’s recommendation, she started training.

Gutierrez received her barber’s license from Recalibrated Christian Beauty and Barber College of Fort Wayne in August 2020. Her storefront was previously owned by Evans’ Fine Jewelry, which closed its doors in January 2021.

After purchasing the building, she started with renovations. Over the course of a little more than a year, Gutierrez installed new lights, floor tile, outlets and a water heater. She painted the walls gray, with black and gold as her accent colors.

During that time she offered haircuts out of her home.

Gutierrez noted she’s always wanted to have her own business. With her own shop, she said, she’s able to dedicate more one-on-one time with each of her clients.

“I like to take my time,” she said. “I don’t like rushing. I schedule my cuts so I don’t have to rush.”

Her shop is appointment-based, although she said she’s flexible. Her regular hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

On Wednesdays, she’d like to offer her services to those in need in the community. She related her own experience with addiction, noting her daughters’ father overdosed about five years ago.

She’s been in contact with Jay-Randolph Developmental Services and nursing homes and homeless shelters in surrounding areas for donating her time in free haircuts. She recently offered cuts at Jay County Jail.

“I’ve always loved helping people, but I also feel like it’s a calling in my life,” she said.

Something she enjoys about her occupation now is the ties she still feels to helping others, specifically with making them feel and look better.

“I can see (them) smile,” she said.