10 things ABOUT Rene Lezama

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Age: 39
Occupation: Barber/Hustler
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Years in the River Valley: 5
Family: I have 3 beautiful kids — Angel, Franco & Milania

1) What is your favorite book and why?

Crushing it by Gary Vaynerchuck is probably the book that inspired my decision to open up a barbershop in the beginning, which in turn made this whole thing possible. I’ve always been drawn to books about self-improvement. Sometimes we need motivation to evolve into the best version of ourselves in order to reach our goals and aspirations.

2) Dogs or cats?

It’s not about the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog. I gotta go with man’s best friend. Growing up in my neighborhood, everyone had dogs — some for walks in the park or to play fetch with, but more often than not for security purposes. Even though they look mean and tough, pit bulls are my all-time favorite. Hands down the most loyal and loving breed I’ve ever owned.

3) What do you think is the most positive aspect of living in the River Valley?

Definitely the opportunity and endless possibilities for creating something new is a positive part of the ever-growing River Valley that I’ve come to call home these past five-plus years. There’s so much room for growth and development, for entrepreneurs, creators, artist, and families looking to start something new and exciting. Can’t wait to see what it looks like 10 years from now.

4) What’s something no one would ever guess about you?

People know that I love music, but back before I was a successful barber and barbershop owner, I was an aspiring rapper by the name of Renegade. I was always recording music, making beats, and performing on stage anywhere there was a microphone. Writing, recording, and producing was my first true passion.

5) What is your favorite music genre and artist?

My favorite genre has to be hip-hop, and my favorite artists right now is Nippsy Hussel (R.I.P). But my music palette is literally all over the place, I definitely consider myself a student of the game, always trying to find something new to listen to. Growing up in Los Angeles, I remember after school I’d always go to Ameba Records and sift through hundreds of records and CDs. I always wanted to be up on music people never heard before, anything underground or Indy, the more obscure the better sometimes.

6) What do you nerd out on?

I geek out on sneakers culture a lot. I can talk about kicks for days. And if you’ve ever walked in my shop, I’m always complementing clients new kicks. There’s nothing like the feeling of a new pair of Jordans. Kind of like the same feeling you get from a fresh fade. But I also geek out on everything barber related like tutorials, vlogs, and product reviews.

7) If you could change one thing about the River Valley, what would it be?

I believe change is always good, and I believe everyone is capable of change. Everyone has the power of making a change in themselves and others around them or even in our own community. I know it’s cliche, but we all have to be the change we want to see.

8) Where is the one location in the River Valley you would tell a first-time visitor that they must go?

I’m a huge foodie, so I’ve always got to recommend first-time visitors go to all of the great local food spots and watering holes. I also mention our outdoor activities, from trails for hiking and biking to lakes and rivers for floating and fishing. The River Valley has so much to offer, and we have to keep promoting our community every chance we can.

9) Pizza, tacos, cheeseburger, or fried chicken?

Definitely tacos, and not just because both my parents are from Mexico. My mother hails from Sinaloa and my father from Mexico City. Tacos are Life! Growing up Mexican, I’m partial to my native cuisine, so I’ve got to represent. But don’t let that stop you from inviting me to your next crawfish boil. I’ve had the opportunity to learn all about Southern cuisine during my time here in the River Valley.

10) What is your favorite quote? Could be from an inspirational person, could be an original.

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
-Muhammad Ali