Meet Éricka Pérez, a young, indigenous woman from Guatemala who is doing her part to break stereotypes in her town of Olintepeque, Quetzaltenango, by working as a barber. Pérez is so sought after for her talent with the clippers, the local community has nicknamed her “Lady Barber.”
While working as a barber is not a typical profession for women in her area, Pérez embraces her job and wants to prove to people that she has what it takes to succeed in the business. “In reality, I felt very discriminated against when I first began because I wasn’t accepted in the barber industry,” Pérez told Telemundo.
Pérez runs her barbershop with her brother. Along with cutting hair, she also offers customized hair art for clients looking for something extra special. Whether that is a floral design or a portrait she shaves into someone’s scalp from a photo reference, Pérez is up for the challenge. When she’s not working at the shop, she makes house calls to clients on her motorbike, which has her nickname printed on the side.
“My mother and my siblings have supported me day after day to continue fulfilling my dreams,” Pérez says.
One of her customers, Jaime Chay, has no problem getting his hair cut by a female barber. But he says there are others who don’t feel the same way.
“There are men that wouldn’t allow her or any other woman to cut their hair,” Chay says.
Pérez is making a name for herself in her Guatemalan town, but she has also turned to social media to help tell her story. She is active on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok where she shows off all her clients’ hairstyles and designs.